Taylor Walker return alone won’t fix Crows: Nicks

Murray Wenzel |

The Crows looking fed up after being out-hustled by the Gold Coast Suns.
The Crows looking fed up after being out-hustled by the Gold Coast Suns.

Of course, Taylor Walker’s absence hurt Adelaide, but coach Matthew Nicks wants to see changes elsewhere after the Crows were out-hustled in a six-point loss to Gold Coast to begin their AFL season.

The Crows managed just one first-half goal and had three to begin the final term before the floodgates opened in a 8.12 (60) to 8.6 (54) loss to the Suns at Carrara.

The Suns led by 36 but conceded the last five, the Crows with two genuine chances to mark inside 50 inside the final minute and kick a goal to tie the game.

Taylor Walker
Taylor Walker’s return is badly needed for the Crows. (Matt Turner/AAP PHOTOS)

Earlier, it was all Gold Coast though, the Suns’ midfield of Touk Miller, Noah Anderson and Matt Rowell on top and their defence and second-efforts stifling last year’s most productive offence.

“It was two things. It was probably their work-rate, their ability to get back – they’re as good as I’ve seen for a while in that space,” Nicks said of the Suns.

“They work so hard.

“We adjusted a couple of things which we weren’t quite getting right in the first half and it changed the game, but we’ve got to be better than that.

“We’ve got to find a way to get back in and even the numbers so we can compete ahead of the ball.”

Walker, who has a back injury, is likely to play on Friday at Adelaide Oval against Geelong.

“Did we miss Taylor Walker? Of course any team is going to miss Taylor Walker. He’s one of those players,” Nicks said.

“But there were other areas we didn’t get right and our opposition did.”

Nicks pushed former Sun Izak Rankine forward in the second half and the shake-up paved the way for the Crows’ resurgence.

“I thought Izak showed what Izak can do,” the coach said.

“Early it was our opposition that stopped that free-flowing and then the conditions changed which made it hard to shift the ball.

“We were forced to play a contest style and we didn’t get that right in the first half.

“We definitely got it right in the second half and it showed we can score quickly no matter what the conditions.

“We’ll take some positives out of that, that we can score different ways.”

Jordan Butts finished with a foot or ankle complaint while Luke Pedlar played on with a broken nose.