Don Pyke has no idea why.
But the defeated Adelaide coach has vowed to find the reasons in a forensic examination of the Crows’ grand final flop against Richmond at the MCG on Saturday.
The Crows were belted by eight goals, leaving Pyke puzzled why the competition’s season-long pacesetters and minor premiers stumbled on the grand stage.
“When the big games are on, you have got to bring your best and we didn’t bring our best,” Pyke told reporters.
“And that is taking nothing away from Richmond, I thought they were fantastic … we clearly could have been better.
“If you asked our players individually, there would be some of them that felt like they produced one of their poorer performances on what is obviously a big day.”
Pyke sensed a collective funk descend on the Crows late in the second quarter.
After holding an 11 point lead at quarter-time, Adelaide was outscored 0.5 to 4.1 in the second stanza.
Richmond then demolished Adelaide in the third term, booting 5.4 to 1.2 – when the Tigers recorded 20 more contested possessions – which Pyke made particular reference to.
“At one stage the numbers I was looking at was minus 27 (contested possessions) in the quarter and that is a phenomenal number,” he said.
“Richmond outworked us at the contest. They won the contest, they had extra numbers there.
“And no surprise the game got played in their half and they were able to score. And from that point it became a long way back.”
Pyke said players and coaches must learn from the harsh lessons of failing to produce their best in the club’s first grand final since 1998.
“That is the conversation we had after the game: it’s important we reflect,” he said.
“They are shattered, the players. They put a lot of energy into the season and walk away with nothing.
“We’re not sitting here going ‘woe is us’.
“We came to a grand final, we weren’t good enough.
“We have got to accept that and we have got to try to do something about it to work our way back into this position again.”