Monday, June 17, 2024

Burns on Soligo sub decision

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The midfielder was tactically subbed out for the second half

Adelaide Assistant Scott Burns says “player management” was behind a decision to substitute midfielder Jake Soligo out of the game against West Coast on Sunday afternoon.

Soligo featured in the Crows’ eventual 99-point victory against the Eagles for the first half, before being replaced on the field by Sam Berry in the third quarter.

Speaking to the media on Monday, Burns said Soligo was rested for the second half of the match with the short breaks coming up.

“It’s a management thing (and) what is happening in the game,” Burns said.

“We certainly had a good midfielder on the bench in Sammy Berry who came on and played really strong football for the last half as well.

“We are mindful of Soli, he’s not six-foot-three and 100kg and it’s his first year in the midfield.

“There’s a five-day break coming up after Hawthorn, so we are mindful of what lies ahead… We are certainly managing him to make sure he’s continuing his good form throughout the year.”

Adelaide was hot out of the blocks in the game against West Coast, slamming on seven goals to none in the first term and then six in the second quarter to hold a 61-point lead at the main break.

The Crows never took the foot off the pedal and went on to win, 21.11 (137) to 5.8 (38) at Adelaide Oval.

Burns lauded the side’s four-quarter performance.

“We came out quite aggressive at the start, quite solid in the contest and moved the ball well and it was good to capitalise early,” Burns said.

“They (the Eagles) had been in some really good form, the oppo preview looking at their last month of football was very positive, so we made sure the boys were aware of certainly what they were capable of and the way they were playing.

“(But) we didn’t give them a sniff early and we kept the foot on the throat the whole game and that’s the most pleasing thing.”

The match was midfielder Harry Schoenberg’s return to the AFL after rupturing his Achilles in Round 24 last year and he capped it with 15 disposals, seven marks, two clearances and a goal.

Burns said he was pleased Schoenberg got through his comeback game well

“He did his Achilles last round last year and sometimes that can be nearly 12 months (out),” Burns said.

“But the work he put in from then to Christmas was outstanding, he came along a lot quicker than we thought, too.

“He came back through the SANFL and we thought he’d take a bit of time, but within two weeks he was probably our standout performer.

“We didn’t want to rush him and we gave him that one or two more games there, so he had a good month of football under his belt, and we are really pleased with how he covered the ground and how he used the ball.”

Adelaide will quickly turn its attention to a clash with Hawthorn at the MCG on Saturday afternoon.

Burns expected it to be a tough challenge, with the Hawks coming off a strong victory against Brisbane.

“I watched them live against Port and I think anybody there, their first three quarters, just their contest and the way they are using the ball, they’re making it hard for teams to defend,” Burns said.

“Underlying all of that is their contest in and around the ball… that’s another challenge for our mids to compete aggressively and hopefully get some field position for us early.”

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