Former AFL recruiter Matt Rendell believes Adelaide has been underrated by the footy media and is far better than their current ladder position.
The Crows upset Carlton in Round 20 to the tune of 29 points to move into 15th on the ladder with six wins after seven victories last season.
Given the lack of improvement year on year for the developing list, the Crows have faced criticism throughout 2022.
David King recently described the list as “more than poor” when suggesting Matthew Nicks won’t see out the club’s rebuild.
The North Melbourne champion also described Carlton’s loss as an “arrogant” performance, but Rendell believes that doesn’t give Nicks’ men due credit.
“I read that about broken tackles and all that from their (Carlton) senior players,” Rendell began.
“I’m not sure about the arrogance… but the Crows have been playing like this for quite a while.
“High tempo, lots of pressure, numbers around the ball, they are a dangerous side to play against.
“The Swans even felt it last week. They kicked nine goals to two in the first quarter, it (the margin) got back to three goals and the Swans were panicking.
“I think Kingy, because he’s potted their list unmercifully, I think he’s underestimated the Crows.
“I reckon they’re way better than their position on the ladder.”
Rendell also paid tribute to the development of key defenders Jordan Butts and Nick Murray, who played on Harry McKay and Charlie Curnow respectively in the win.
The Blues duo kicked three goals between them and largely didn’t influence the contest, with Rendell going as far to suggest Murray was a “future All-Australian*.
The former recruiter further paid homage to Ben Keays’ role on Adam Saad, with the rebounding Blue having minimal impact due to the tag.
“Adelaide did something to Carlton that no one has done all year, and it really bamboozled them,” Rendell added.
“They put Keays onto Saad… Saad had no idea how to play on Keays.
“Keays is really fit and a runner, Saad’s endurance is not his strength… a really interesting move, I’m going to watch and see if other clubs do this.
“Keays was virtually best on ground I would have thought.”
Adelaide plays three winnable games to finish the season, starting with West Coast in what will be Josh Kennedy’s final game.