2020 Marsh Community Series - Adelaide v Gold Coast
2020 Marsh Community Series - Adelaide v Gold Coast

Suns favourites to beat Crows for first time

FLEDGLING AFL club Gold Coast is officially favourite to beat Adelaide for the first time in its history after enduring 13 consecutive losses to the Crows by an average of 10 goals.

The Suns' stunning victory over West Coast and Adelaide's Showdown capitulation against Port Adelaide in Round 2 has seen Ladbrokes install the Suns as $1.78 favourites and the Crows $2 outsiders ahead of Sunday's clash at Metricon Stadium.

It will be the first of three games for the Crows inside their new Queensland hub as they prepare to fly north on Saturday in search of some sun and valuable time to build connection under new coach Matthew Nicks.

Adelaide has started favourite in all 13 games against the Suns who entered the competition in 2011 and the Crows have been as short as $1.01.

But the tables appear to have turned and according to Ladbrokes this round is the first time in 12 months Gold Coast has gone into any game as favourite with the punters.

As the Crows began to sift through vision of Saturday night's Showdown as part of their Monday review, Tom Lynch and Brodie Smith admitted it would be tough viewing and they were eager to get to Queensland for a chance to respond.

"I think everyone has had us as underdogs or finishing down the bottom of the ladder throughout this Covid break so it's a good chance to start proving a few people wrong and getting back to playing the footy we want to play," Smith said.

Gold Coast coach Stuart Dew. The Suns beat West Coast on Saturday night.
Gold Coast coach Stuart Dew. The Suns beat West Coast on Saturday night.

Despite their perfect record over Gold Coast, the Suns will not catch Adelaide by surprise after No.1 draft pick Matt Rowell led them to an ultra-impressive win over West Coast on Saturday night.

"They had a really good win on the weekend and he's (Rowell) obviously a pretty good young player and someone we're going to have to think about and put some time into," Lynch said.

"As a collective they played a really good game, strong brand from what I hear, and we'll certainly focus on them later in the week and touch on what we're up against but we've got a fair bit to worry about in terms of focusing on us and what we can control."

Adelaide got a close-up look at Gold Coast and Rowell in the Marsh Series in pre-season and Smith was impressed. The Suns won that clash by seven points at Noarlunga.

"You saw the signs then and he's (Rowell) a big bull of a kid and to see his stats against the West Coast midfield he's obviously played a really good game so him and Hughy Greenwood are really good clearance players and will be a focus for us," he said.

"It was a bit of a surprise to walk off the ground and check the scores and see that they'd put West Coast to the sword, so no doubt we're up against it this weekend again and it's a great challenge for us."

Despite the 75-point margin on Saturday night, Smith and Lynch both say it's not a true reflection of how far off the pace the Crows are after a 0-2 start.

"I don't think that's where we're at, Port were definitely good but we were definitely bad, but I don't think that's the realistic gap between the two sides," Smith said.

"Not taking anything away from Port they were very good but we weren't up to what we expect from each other.

"There's going to be some tough conversations but that's what makes us better and we'll try to learn from it."

Lynch said he remained "extremely confident" in the group.

"We're developing in terms of getting used to the game plan and making sure guys are improving their footy and we're in a space of knowing we've got some work to do this week," he said.

"But that's not what we expect to dish up, we're a better football club than that."

Ned McHenry on debut for the Crows in Showdown 48. Picture: Daniel Kalisz (Getty).
Ned McHenry on debut for the Crows in Showdown 48. Picture: Daniel Kalisz (Getty).

Captain Rory Sloane (corked thigh) and defender/wingman Jake Kelly (concussion) were being monitored yesterday and remain in some doubt for Sunday's clash with the Suns.

Debutant Ned McHenry is expected to hold his spot and earnt high praise from Smith for bringing his trademark energy to a tough night in the Showdown.

"The most impressing thing for me from Ned was he was the guy trying to get everyone up when we had our backs against the wall, he was bringing the energy and getting guys up, so for a guy on debut to do that on a tough night was really impressive," he said.


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