Sport AFL Crows ordered to be bold against Dockers

Crows ordered to be bold against Dockers

Brenton Sanderson
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Whatever you do, don’t go back.

That’s the message Adelaide coach Brenton Sanderson has been hammering into his players this week in preparation for Sunday’s AFL clash with Fremantle at Patersons Stadium.

The Dockers have built a reputation as the most frenzied pressure side in the competition.

Teams who handball backwards in a bid to escape the heat generally pay the price with a turnover.

Sanderson is urging his players to be bold with their style of play, believing it’s the only way teams can unlock the Dockers’ miserly defence.

“We have to be bold. We have to take the game on and not be reluctant to take the ball forward,” Sanderson said.

“Any side that tries to switch the ball or handball backwards against Fremantle (get caught out). You have to understand they’re a great pressure side.

“They bring the heat as good as anyone.

“Ten goals could beat Fremantle. It probably will be a low-scoring, dour match.

“We can’t allow them to lock us away. We have to take the game on.”

Both sides have named unchanged line-ups despite having several injury concerns during the week.

Dockers duo Nat Fyfe (ankle) and Luke McPharlin (soreness) are likely to face late fitness tests before being given the green light.

But Sanderson is confident Crows ruckman Sam Jacobs (corked hip) will be fit to take on Fremantle giant Aaron Sandilands in what looms as a critical match-up.

Although Fremantle won both encounters against the Crows last year, Sanderson said his players were confident of causing an upset.

“I know they got us twice last year, but they were close games,” he said.

“And in 2012, we beat them three times and knocked them out of the finals.

“Historically we’ve actually played pretty well against Fremantle.”

Sanderson expects Dockers tagger Ryan Crowley to be assigned to Patrick Dangerfield.

But he said Rory Sloane, Richard Douglas, Scott Thompson and Jarryd Lyons would also present dangers to Fremantle.

Adelaide are precariously placed at 5-5 after dropping winnable games against the Demons and Blues this year.

But if they can upset the Dockers in Perth, it could pave the way for a surge into the top eight.