Eddie Betts tries to break clear of Essendon opponent Adam Saad during the Crows’ round one loss at Etihad Stadium. Picture: Julian Smith (AAP).
Eddie Betts tries to break clear of Essendon opponent Adam Saad during the Crows’ round one loss at Etihad Stadium. Picture: Julian Smith (AAP).

It’s not a fitness issue: Betts

STAR forward Eddie Betts has denied Adelaide has a fitness problem, declaring the team hasn't been fitter in his five years at the club.

While the Crows lost a 20-point final-quarter lead to Essendon at Etihad Stadium on Friday night, Betts said the collapse was more to do with mindset than a physical issue.

"Everything was going to plan and then we just fell away,'' Betts said.

The Crows are hoping to regain Tom Lynch for Thursday’s night’s clash against Richmond. Picture: AAP Image/David Mariuz
The Crows are hoping to regain Tom Lynch for Thursday’s night’s clash against Richmond. Picture: AAP Image/David Mariuz

"Our fundamentals dropped off and our workrate, we just weren't working for each other.

"It's not lack of fitness because we're the fittest we've been.

"I think it was just a lack of understanding and workrate. It's all in the head to be honest.

"Your body follows what your mind thinks and if you are thinking negatives, once they (the Bombers) got a run on our energy dropped, our communication, we stopped working with each other and they kept going and going and we couldn't stop it.''

Essendon dominated the final quarter to turn a 20-point deficit into a 12-point win.

"We've got to learn from it,'' said Betts, whose team plays premier Richmond in a blockbuster grand final rematch at Adelaide Oval on Thursday night.

"It's round one, we've got 21 games to go.

"After losing the grand final to Richmond, to get them in round two at home, we're pumped about it.''

The Crows have chosen to contest Richard Douglas's engaging in rough contact charge stemming from his collision with Bombers star Zach Merrett in the first quarter of Friday night's clash.

The tribunal will sit at 4.30pm (SA time) on Tuesday.

Betts said the injury-hit Crows hope to regain key forwards, captain Taylor Walker and linkman Tom Lynch, from injury for the clash.

Walker is on the comeback trail from a foot injury while Lynch strained a side muscle at training last week.



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