Cruel break: Daniel Talia is helped off the ground after breaking his arm. Photo: Getty Images
ADELAIDE was reeling last night after its shock loss to Sydney, and the club's AFL Rising Star winner, Daniel Talia, was nursing a broken right arm.
He was taken to hospital minutes after falling awkwardly in the last quarter. It is not known if he will require surgery.
There was also concern with Patrick Dangerfield, who was accidentally struck in the jaw. He will have X-rays to determine if there is any damage.
After almost taunting those who dared to keep doubting the Crows going into the finals, coach Brenton Sanderson is now left to perform a miracle to keep their crumbling hopes alive.
Adelaide plays either Geelong or Fremantle at home on Friday night, and even if it gets through this tough encounter the grand final is still just a dream as it would then play a fresh Hawthorn in Melbourne in a preliminary final.
But Sanderson remained upbeat. ''We will get back to business and recover, review and make sure we put on a better performance on Friday night,'' he said.
''I am disappointed with the performance and the result, but we are still a good side and we will make sure we bounce back hard next week. They [the players] have to learn from that. It's not all doom and gloom - we live to fight another day.
''Sydney played a way that stands up in finals, and it is not too dissimilar to what we are trying to do. We got taught how to play finals footy. We will be better for the experience. We won't sit around and sulk.
''There were times when we still played some good footy, but we allowed Sydney to dominate us in too many facets of the game. We got out-tackled, their method around the ball was a lot better than ours, and we just didn't make the most of our opportunities going forward.
''At times we did not have that poise or composure to hit the target. It was almost like Sydney knew where we were going to kick it.''
Sanderson praised the effort of youngster Brodie Smith, who did well on Adam Goodes after half-time, but added that the effort by the Sydney champion was special. ''Goodes loves the big stage. He was one who really stood up for them.
''We have six days to regroup and get on with business next week. I am not looking for excuses, because Sydney were clearly better than us today.''