Adelaide coach Brenton Sanderson wants just one thing: a fast start against St Kilda in Sunday’s AFL encounter at Adelaide Oval.
The Crows are out of the hunt for the finals, but Sanderson is demanding his outfit finish their season in style against the likely wooden spooners.
“Our focus will be to start well against St Kilda no matter what,” he said.
Adelaide’s finals aspirations hinged on Collingwood, Richmond and West Coast losing.
The Crows had the first leg of that trifecta, with the Magpies losing to Hawthorn on Friday night.
But Richmond’s gallant three-point triumph against minor premiers Sydney on Saturday night consigned to Adelaide to being finals spectators, irrespective of the result of West Coast’s away game against Gold Coast on Sunday.
Sanderson’s desire for a quick start comes amid sluggish opening from his Crows, who have won just nine opening quarters this season.
That statistic galls the third-year coach, given only four clubs – flag fancies Sydney, Hawthorn, Fremantle and Port Adelaide – have won more quarters overall than Adelaide.
“The trouble is, when we have a bad quarter, we get scored heavily against,” Sanderson said.
“Defence is an area we have to improve.”
Sunday’s fixture will be St Kilda great Lennie Hayes’ final AFL game, with the respected Saint retiring.
Hayes is the hero of Adelaide’s acting captain Rory Sloane, who supported the Saints when a lad.
Sloane will chalk his 100th AFL game against his childhood idol.
“There’s a bit of romance in that it’s Lenny Hayes’ last game, Rory Sloane’s 100th,” Sanderson said.
“I think Sloaney will jog over and shake his hand before the game because he does love him.”