Crows need to unlock Tiger defence: Pyke

Steve Larkin
AAP
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Crows need to unlock Tiger defence: Pyke

Adelaide coach Don Pyke believes unlocking Richmond's unique defensive approach will be key in Sunday's clash of unbeaten AFL sides.

Pyke's ladder-leading Crows are the competition's top scorers while the Tigers boast the stingiest defence.

And Richmond's defensive excellence is looming large in Pyke's planning for the twilight Adelaide Oval encounter.

"Each game throws up a different challenge and we expect against Richmond they may defend us slightly differently," Pyke told reporters on Thursday.

"We have got to be ready to adapt ... depending on what gets presented.

"They have got a very strong defensive mechanism in place."

Pyke says the Crows would be well-versed on what to expect from the Tigers.

"We scan our opposition each week and are really clear on how we think they want to play and their relative strengths," he said.

"They have won five games. They are playing really good footy.

"And that means their numbers are really strong around the contest and with their midfield stuff; their scoring efficiency is pretty high and they're defending the game really well."

Pyke was hopeful valued bookends Josh Jenkins and Daniel Talia would prove their fitness for the match, but has ruled out emerging utility Riley Knight (hamstring).

Key forward Jenkins has missed three games because of a rib injury but was edging "closer and closer" to returning.

Fullback Talia, Adelaide's preferred match-up for form Tiger forward Jack Riewoldt, is pressing for selection after a hamstring scare last weekend.

Talia limped off in the opening minutes of the Crows' win at the Gold Coast.

"The way he trained today, he's on track," Pyke said of Talia.

"When he first presented, our doctors thought it was a hamstring (injury) but the scan was clear.

"It looks like it might be some tendonitis he was suffering and that is what triggered it off ... but it settled down really well."