Brian Taylor fumes over ‘inexplicable’ Jordan Dawson error during Adelaide Crows loss to Melbourne

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The Adelaide Crows have come under fire over an “inexplicable” mistake that cost them dearly against Melbourne on Thursday night.

In the first match of the AFL’s Gather Round, the Crows held all the momentum in the final quarter as they looked to surge over the top of the Demons.

The only place to watch every game of Gather Round is on Fox Footy via Foxtel or Kayo Sports available on Hubbl.

But that momentum came to a grinding halt when their best player, and captain, Jordan Dawson was left stranded on the bench for over six minutes.

After the margin had shrunk to 15-points, it looked as if the Crows were on the brink of potentially securing their first win of the season.

As the contest came to life, cameras panned over to show Dawson standing at the interchange gates waving at teammates as he attempted to get back on the ground.

The sight of the Crows skipper stuck on the bench left Channel 7 commentator and AFL great Brian Taylor in disbelief.

“How does this happen? With so many people on the bench to sort this out. How is your best player not on the ground at the most important time?” Taylor said.

Former Geelong captain Joel Selwood was in agreeance with Taylor’s remarks and called for the “closest guy to come off”.

“I’m staggered by this. It happens often and we talk about it all the time,” Taylor continued.

“The game is very professional yet the bench people can’t seem to sort it out. He has been off for five minutes. He is their most important player and they can’t get him on.

“Unbelievable. Inexplicable.”

Dawson eventually made his way back onto the ground after over six minutes on the bench, but by then the momentum was gone and the match was lost.

Josh Rachele’s goal halfway through the final quarter, which brought the margin back to 15-points, was the end of the Crows fight as Melbourne held on to record their fourth straight win.

The Crows now sink to 0-4 on the season with legends of the game lining up to take aim at their dismal showings.

“What has happened to the Adelaide Crows in one off-season?” dual premiership star David King said on Fox Footy.

“If they were a racehorse, you’d put them out for a spell. They just haven’t come up for this preparation.

“You start talking about their game plan. Is it the system? Is it the personnel? What’s missing? Because they’re not the powerful, punishing team of 2024 as they were last year.

“I’m looking at their offence, really, and ability to punish – and at the moment they can’t do that … they can’t get any fluency.”

Hawthorn legend Jason Dunstall added: “I don’t care what the game plan is – if you’re butchering the footy, no game plan will stack up.

“They can’t hit targets. There’s only two or three blokes that you trust with the footy and the others you don’t. Unless you start recruiting some players that can kick the ball, it’s not going to change. Across half-back and through the midfield, they need some genuine class. They’ve got a lot of ‘tryers’ and good, honest toilers – and I don’t mean that in a negative way – but you’ve got to have the cream around it to actually get the job done.

“This is why I feel for Matty Nicks … it’s hard to coach around skill levels like that.”

St Kilda champion Leigh Montagna questioned whether there was “an overrating of their list and the talent” last year.

“Maybe you look back and the talent at the top-end was Taylor Walker, Jordan Dawson – those guys had really good years. You wonder whether that covered the cracks of these other players, because now when they need some others to stand up without Jordan Dawson and Taylor Walker being at their absolute best form, there’s probably just not enough there,” he told Fox Footy.

Dunstall added: “It looks like as a team they overperformed last year now and it’s hard to get back to that level.”

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