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No guarantees for dumped Crows ball magnet

Crouch was prolific in the SANFL on Saturday, combining 36 disposals with eight marks and six tackles after he was a shock omission from the AFL line-up ahead of round 8.But the 2017 All-Australian and club best-and-fairest winner may need more time to convince Crows coaches he is a first-choice midfielder with Burns implying he wouldn’t necessarily come straight back into the side. Burns said regular coach Matthew Nicks – who missed the match through Covid protocols – was leading discussions with Crouch, but hoped the experienced onballer could show enough in the SANFL to make a best-22 return “at some stage”.“Nicksy’s the one that’s had the major conversations with Crouchy. It’s pleasing the boys that have gone back (to SANFL level) have always played well.“Crouchy’s a terrific player. He’s been a best-and-fairest winner, he’s been an All-Australian, so we want him to go back there and play good footy, and hopefully get back up into the senior team at some stage.”Watch every blockbuster AFL match this weekend Live & Ad-Break Free In-Play on Kayo. New to Kayo? Try 14-Days Free Now >Small forward Lachie Murphy, who had surgery to fix a bulging disk in his neck over summer, sparked concern when he was forced out of the match after a heavy Patrick Cripps tackle late in the third term. Burns said it was unclear whether any damage was sustained. “I’m not all over it, just the docs came at three-quarter time saying he was a bit sore,” Burns said. “There is (concern) to an extent. I’ll find out a little bit more (during the week).”The temporary coach rued a costly six-goal-to-none third quarter against the Blues but said the opposition deserved credit for a blistering period of play. “The third quarter was just an avalanche,” he said. “We lost contest inside and we lost contest behind the ball. We just couldn’t get ball in hand for that period of time. “To Carlton’s credit, that was some pretty hard football to stop.”

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