Crows coach Pyke not bugged by state of the game criticism

In the wake of months of criticism of the current AFL product because of congestion and low-scoring, Adelaide coach Don Pyke believes this weekend's Showdown and another thriller on Friday night were reminders how great AFL football can be.

Neither Port Adelaide's five-point win over his Adelaide Crows, or the Sydney Swans' eight-point win over Hawthorn were significantly high-scoring, but he suggests the AFL is still producing some classic contests that “keeps the fans on the edge of their seats”.

Sometimes you are the bug and sometimes you are the windshield, and tonight we were the bug

The Crows hit the front with 43 seconds remaining, only to lose to Port in Showdown 44 with a goal on the run from Steven Motlop with 21 seconds left. And during these agonising moments Pyke, who praised Port, described the situation as like being a bug hitting a windscreen.

“That's the stuff that we practice,” Pyke said. “We went through a structure where we were trying to close the game out. We will review that. It was execution. We had two guys collide and the ball spills out.

“That's footy. Sometimes when you lose by under a goal it's a bit like the old saying, sometimes you are the bug and sometimes you are the windshield, and tonight we were the bug.

“You can play a tight game, but it can be still a great game of footy. You saw that last night. The Sydney-Hawthorn game was a cracking game of footy. It was still relatively low-scoring, but you still had two teams really competing and contesting and the result is up for grabs towards the end.

“A lot is made about the state of the game, but my view is always let the game work itself out and take it from there. If something needs to be adjusted let's consider it deeply; understand what the consequences are of rule changes or otherwise tweaking the game.

“I think that's the approach the AFL is taking. They have this committee together which is looking at a whole range of things, and from what I understand it is going to be a pretty measured approach towards making any changes will be really well considered which is good.

“Tonight was a good game of footy; it was close, it was contested. You cannot buy that experience (for our younger players). That's the level you have to play at consistently to be a good AFL footballer.”

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