The idea that a team can lose its best player and instead of tanking, actually play better, is counterintuitive, to say the least, but the Adelaide Crows seemed to have taken the loss of Patrick Dangerfield in stride to rally to an unexpected 3 – 1 record after the first four rounds.
The Crows lost a close affair against North Melbourne at the start of the season, but they were the better of the two Adelaide sides the following week, had little difficulty against the Tigers in Round 3 and impressed many observers when defending their home ground against the previously undefeated Sydney Swans in a ripper of a game that featured 11 lead changes, generating speculation that The Crows could not only be a finals contender, but a top-four one at that.
Crows coach Don Pyke pointed out the contributions of all 22 players in the victory that enabled the team to rise to the occasion late in the match and not fold under pressure from a Swans side that was a top-four finisher in 2015.
The Crows will have full plates in front of them when they play the Hawks next round. No doubt, a victory over the reigning premiers would give Crows supporters something over which to caw.