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Dees "silly" if they let Sloane run free

Football

Melbourne would be silly to ditch their past plans of applying a hard tag on Adelaide linchpin Rory Sloane, Crows forward Josh Jenkins says.

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The Demons deployed ex-Crow Bernie Vince on Sloane with great success in their upset away win over Adelaide in round eight.

Sloane had a season-low 11 disposals in that fixture and Jenkins predicts Melbourne will use the same tactic when the clubs meet again on Saturday night in Darwin.

“If something has worked you would be silly to change it,” Jenkins said.

Sloane faced similar tagging tactics from other clubs following Melbourne’s success but Jenkins said the star midfielder was better for the experience.

“He is probably a bit better equipped this time around,” Jenkins said.

“He has seen a lot more of it. He saw a close tag for probably six weeks, none closer than Bernie.

“So you’d like to think he’s more equipped and we’re more equipped to help him as well.”

The Crows hold top spot entering the clash against the fifth-placed Demons and Jenkins believes the Darwin heat won’t favour either side.

“Playing Saturday night helps, not in the beaming sun during the day, but it’s certainly something to be aware of,” he said.

“It’s just another hurdle for us to get over.

“Melbourne… have played there a few times but it’s not like they play up there every second week, so I wouldn’t have thought there would be an advantage for either side.”

Jenkins rated forward Tom Lynch as “more likely than not” to return a fortnight after being in intensive care because of viral meningitis, which caused him to lose about five kilograms. But he said a final decision would rest with doctors, rather than coaching staff.

Darwin’s heat, and Adelaide’s six-day turnaround before their following fixture against Geelong, would also be factors in any return for Lynch.

“The fitness staff and probably more so the doctor will have to make a pretty smart call on that,” Jenkins said.

“He was in the hospital, in ICU, not so long ago so… but, at the end of the day, I think it will be out of his hands and probably will be out of (coach Don Pyke) Pykey’s hands as well.

“If our doctors and the doctors that treated Tom as well say he’s ready to go, then I would think they will play him.”

Lynch returned to full training yesterday and is “back to his bubbly self”, according to Jenkins.

“Judging from his personality, he looks ready to go and at least wants to give himself every chance,” he said.

Meanwhile, Jenkins insists sought-after defender Jake Lever’s move to postpone a decision on his football future isn’t alarming his Crows teammates.

Several clubs in Lever’s native Victoria are pitching multi-million dollar long-term deals to the 21-year-old.

And while Adelaide has tabled an offer, Lever said this week he may not decide his future before the finals.

Crows forward Josh Jenkins says he’s not surprised at Lever’s stance.

“That is a player’s right,” he said.

“That is just the evolution of the way players and contracts and player movement is heading.”

Lever’s stocks have risen markedly this season with a series of influential performances which Jenkins said evidenced the backman’s focus on football.

“I would be surprised if he’s expending too much energy on it (contract talks), to be quite honest,” Jenkins said.

“When you hear him say that he’s willing to leave it in his manager’s hands, from experience that would be exactly what he’s doing.

“It’s more people externally want to talk to him about it – not just media, his friends and family might want to talk about it more than he does.”

Jenkins was in an identical situation last year when rival clubs came knocking before, in July, he signed a fresh five-year deal to remain at the Crows.

“I had a figure in mind that the club got to and it’s as simple as that,” Jenkins said.

“I was happy enough to get it out of the way at that time, I probably had enough of talking about it in the street as much as anything.

“I got sick of going into the coffee shop and being asked about it so I was willing to get it done.

“But each individual case is extremely different.”

Jenkins said the future of Lever and emerging 22-year-old Perth-born forward Mitch McGovern, who also comes off-contract at season’s end, wasn’t a talking point in Adelaide’s changerooms.

“I certainly hope they both remain here because we have seen how talented and how important they are to our side,” he said.

“And they’re only going to be more talented and more important as the years go on so I’d like to think they will both hang around.”

 

-AAP

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