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"There's a long way to go" for pace-setting Crows


Adelaide coach Don Pyke says self-satisfaction doesn’t lead to progess.

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Even the notoriously guarded Crows coach is impressed by what he’s seeing from his AFL pacesetters.

But he’s cautioning against reading too much into his free-scoring side’s six consecutive wins to start the season.

“We are happy with where we’re sitting at the moment,” Pyke said after trouncing Richmond by 76 points on Sunday.

“But we know there is a long way to go. And we know there is areas individually and collectively we have to get better at.”

The Crows are the sole unbeaten side in the league and have kicked 100 or more points in every win.

And Pyke said it was simply a product of the players developing a deep trust in themselves, and their daring style of play.

“They understand it. They get it,” he said.

“It’s a relationship between the guys and what they actually are after.

“And they are building that and building that belief and trust in each other and how we play – that (performance) is what you see as a result.”

The Crows meet North Melbourne in Hobart next weekend ahead of matches against Melbourne, Brisbane and Fremantle.

“The contribution across the group is really even,” Pyke said.

“And they are getting the reward for that because they are not relying on individuals, they are relying on each other.”

Pyke’s Crows smashed Richmond at Adelaide Oval to bank six consecutive wins and become the AFL’s sole unbeaten side.

The Crows have topped 100 points in every win – on Sunday, with dash and daring confidence, they amassed 21.14 (140) to Richmond’s 10.4 (64) at Adelaide Oval.

And all this after the previously undefeated Tigers led 6.3 to 5.0 at quarter-time.

Pyke is among the AFL’s most guarded and poker-faced coaches but admitted some delight as captain Taylor Walker (five goals) and vice-captain Rory Sloane (33 touches, three goals) led a romp.

“To play that way after quarter-time, yeah, it’s exciting,” Pyke said.

“I sit back in the box at times and some of the ball movement we were able to execute, it’s a real credit to players and I’m sure our fans are loving watching it.”

But Pyke cautioned against getting carried away just yet with Adelaide’s barnstorming form, believing “self-satisfaction doesn’t lead to progress”.

“No-one is unbeatable,” he said.

“We have still got work to do but when we play that way, we are very hard to play against.

“The reality is our guys have built some really strong belief and trust in each other. And performances like tonight don’t hurt in that space.

“But we know there is a long way to go.”

Richmond coach Damien Hardwick labelled Adelaide “without a doubt” the league’s measuring stick.

“They are top of the ladder for a reason,” Hardwick said.

“There’s no doubt their work rate, contest to contest, taught our blokes a lesson.

“They are the best side in the competition but we didn’t play anywhere near our best footy.”

Hardwick said Richmond would learn great lessons from the heavy loss, which comes before another test of the Tigers’ credentials: reigning premiers, the Western Bulldogs.

The Tigers, who entered the Crows game with the stingiest defence in the competition, were blown away by Adelaide’s attacking might in the second and third quarters.

In a match-defining burst of sheer scoring power, Adelaide kicked 13 of 14 goals en route to prolonging the club’s best start to a season.

Leaders Walker and Sloane were superb while midfielder Matt Crouch (38 disposals), defender Rory Laird (34 touches) and ruckman Sam Jacobs (50 hitouts, nine marks, 26 possessions) were also prominent.


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