Pyke: We Lacked Bravery

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Adelaide Crows coach Don Pyke says his team was not brave enough with their ball movement in their 48-point loss to Richmond in Saturday’s grand final.

The Crows can take positives out of a strong season after finishing first on the ladder, however they failed to produce in what was the biggest game of their lives.

Richmond destroyed Adelaide in contested possessions which finished 170-140 and Pyke felt it was major factor to their downfall.

Pyke said it was a disappointing day all round for the Crows, despite leading by 11-points at quarter-time.

“We weren’t prepared to be brave with our ball movement, that’s a credit to Richmond for the pressure they put on us,” Pyke said.

“It was disappointing from our perspective because it was a poor performance.

“You’ve got to win your share and get your field position. When we did win some ball, we weren’t able to maintain our field position.

“I felt early we got forced down the line which is not like us, that’s the pressure of the game, whether we weren’t able to get enough open field spread to be able to create options out there.

“We ended up going long down the line which means you’re relying on winning contests down the line to get field position and we didn’t execute that on game day.”

Pyke also said he had faith he could get his team back to the big dance in 2018.

The Crows coach said he was proud of what his team achieved but conceded his team will be looking back at an opportunity missed.

“That’s what happens in sport, we had a bad day. All year I’ve been talking about our team and our even contribution and we didn’t get it,” he said.

“When the big games are on, you have to bring your best and we didn’t bring our best today.

“That’s taking nothing away from Richmond, I thought they were fantastic, I just felt individually, players and coaches would be saying ‘we could’ve been better’.”

Pyke also drew on his experiences as a player, believing a loss in a grand final could be a good learning experience for his team to come back stronger next year.

He played in the 1991 grand final for the West Coast Eagles, copping a 53-point hammering to Hawthorn at Waverley Park.

The former Eagle then went to play in the 1992 and 1994 premierships defeating Geelong on both occasions.

“Sometimes losses can be a great drive, I’ve been part of clubs where we’ve lost grand finals as a very good team and we’ve come back and won after that,” Pyke recalls.

“You’ve got to learn the lessons. It’s important we reflect. At the end of what has been a positive year for the club, we put in a poor performance.”

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