Two-time premiership coach Malcolm Blight has savaged the Adelaide Crows, bluntly claiming their latest tactic “won’t work”.
Two-time premiership coach Malcolm Blight has savaged the Adelaide Crows, bluntly claiming their latest tactic “won’t work”.

AFL legend savages ‘rubbish’ scheme

LEGENDARY AFL coach Malcolm Blight has slammed the Adelaide Crows' "rubbish" tactics following their embarrassing loss to Port Adelaide on the weekend.

The Crows suffered their largest ever defeat to the cross-town rivals at Adelaide Oval on Saturday evening, the final scoreline reading 17.8 (110) to 5.5 (35).

It was a humiliating loss for a club which has been plagued by off-field issues since their 2017 grand final loss - the Crows are yet to muster a win this season, and currently sit at 17th on the AFL ladder.

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Adelaide coach Matthew Nicks bluntly labelled his side's Round 2 performance as "really embarrassing".

"Our inconsistency. Our lack of contest. Bruise-free footy," Nicks said on Saturday.

"We put 10 minutes of footy out on the ground and looked pretty good early, and then unfortunately we completely dropped away.

"We allowed them to play football the way they wanted to play football.

"Some of the off-ball stuff, we're not going to accept it moving forward. I don't care who it is, we don't discriminate.

"It's not a lack of effort, I want to point that out.

"Our guys are trying their guts out, they are just getting their method wrong."

Matthew Nicks signed as the Adelaide Crows head coach in October 2019.
Matthew Nicks signed as the Adelaide Crows head coach in October 2019.

During the coronavirus lockdown, Adelaide were involved in several off-field controversies. Small forward Tyson Stengle was caught drink driving in an unregistered car, assistant coach Ben Hart was stood down for six weeks after the squad admitted to breaking social distancing restrictions, and Crows teammates were filmed trading punches in a training session.

Coaching in his rookie season, Nicks suggested the Crows need to enforce a more defensive mindset in upcoming fixtures.

"At this point, we've got a fair bit of work to do around prioritising defence," Nicks said on Triple M after the loss.

"We played against a side that were outstanding in that area. It may look like it through the TV that their offence is what's getting them the win but it's off the back of defence.

"When you're not prioritising that defence, you're not getting it done. It can make you look like you're not trying.

"I've no doubt it's not through lack of effort from our guys, but it can look that way when you're five metres off, doing your work too late."

But two-time premiership coach Blight savaged the remarks on Wednesday, questioning why defence would be a priority for the struggling team.

"This is my pet hate in football," Blight said.

"You're about to stymie a football club, to grind it to a halt. I'll tell you why - prioritising defence.

"There are three rules in football if you are going to keep it as basic as you can. The first one, you've got to plan to get the ball. If you're not planning to get the ball and you're prioritising defence, you'll run second to the ball all the time, you'll be beaten all the time. You follow your man, all you do is chase.

"The second thing is use the ball. So plan to get the ball and then use the ball. Hopefully you get a goal.

"And the third and final thing is if they get it, the nearest player puts on pressure. That's as simple as the game is in its most simple philosophy.

Malcolm Blight was awarded the Brownlow Medal in 1978.
Malcolm Blight was awarded the Brownlow Medal in 1978.

"To say that you prioritise defence means that those blokes in the middle of the ground are going to be too worried about a midfield player getting the ball.

"Unless you've got the best team and the greatest defence and the best forward line, you're not going to win. So you can't pinch games by playing like that. I guarantee you now you'll end up kicking five goals like they did.

"They'll go up to the Gold Coast and if they can't win this one they are gone.

"To actually prioritise defence, it's rubbish.

"It is a rookie coach with a rookie idea. I'll tell you now, it won't work."

Blight lead the Crows to consecutive premierships in 1997 and 1998, registering 41 wins during his three-year stint at the club's coach.

Adelaide travel to Queensland this week for their Round 3 match against the Gold Coast Suns, who are coming off a memorable victory over the West Coast Eagles.


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