Kyle Cheney dishes out a handball for the Crows. Photo: Julian Smith/AAP
Kyle Cheney dishes out a handball for the Crows. Photo: Julian Smith/AAP JULIAN SMITH

Crow Cheney happy to take the smaller jobs

KYLE Cheney has every right to be enjoying his footy with Adelaide.

For starters, the mid-sized defender didn't have to man-up on Cats monster Tom Hawkins last week as he did back in 2014 when part of a then-undersized Hawthorn backline.

He had given up 10cm in height and about 20kg in weight.

"That Easter Monday game still haunts me a little bit," he tells ARM.

He's so far been happy All Australian key position star Daniel Talia and the improving Kyle Hartigan "take those bigger guys".

"It was good to steer clear of big Hawk," Cheney said.

Talia will most likely get the big match-up on red-hot Gold Coast spearhead Tom Lynch when the Suns (3-5) host the Crows (4-4) at Metricon Stadium today.

"Talia and Lynch have had a few duels over the last couple of years, so I'd say it'll go that way again," Cheney said.

Having debuted with Melbourne in 2009, Cheney has gone on to play just 61 games across eight seasons - 20 with the Demons and 21 with the Hawks - but he's played all eight games in 2016.

"I've been really happy with the move," he says. "Last year I started in the senior side but unfortunately got a bit of a bulging disc in the back. That set me back, but I'm over that now.

"The back six or seven, it's a really tight group and building a lot of trust amongst each other."

Cheney does admit that defensive unit has been put under more pressure than it would like this season. The Crows have conceded the third-most defensive-50m entries. Only Brisbane and Gold Coast have allowed more.

"That's one of the areas we've spoken about," Cheney said. "That's something we've got to get better at, and it starts with our team defence.

"But it's things like ball-use that's not helping us too. On the weekend we turned it over a few too many times, which just got repelled back to us."

The Crows will look to get on top in the middle against the Suns, particularly with Gary Ablett (concussion) and Aaron Hall (shoulder) now sidelined, and end a two-match losing streak. The depleted hosts, meanwhile, have lost their past five.



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