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Edwards helps crack Crows code

UNDERRATED at the start of the season, Shane Edwards is fast becoming a pillar of the Richmond midfield.

The lightning-quick 21-year-old has played all 18 games this year and is averaging 18 disposals, 2.5 inside-50s and four tackles a game.

Edwards is from Adelaide, so the first win over the club that his mates and family support was even sweeter, especially given Richmond’s horrible record against the Crows - the win was just the second since 1999, with the Crows winning 13 times.

 And he turned it on beautifully, with 29 possessions (10 contested), eight tackles, four clearances, three inside-50s and three rebound-50s.
 
But Edwards was quick to credit his personal stats to the team-orientation of the group.

“It was just good to get a lot of our midfielders and half-backs getting a lot of balls, because we’re good users," he said.

“It was just a well-structured game for us - we played to the structure well, and I couldn’t be happier."

The Crows had the momentum of the match in the second quarter and piled on 13 scoring shots to just one.

However, Adelaide managed just four goals, leaving an invitation that the Tigers duly took.

“We were pretty lucky," Edwards conceded. "On the half-time siren they were going inside 50 again, but the coaches addressed it and it was good see all the players rebound from that and play a good second half.

“We were lucky they wasted a few opportunities, but I guess the footy gods were smiling on us.”

Coach Damien Hardwick said while Edwards might not get much kudos from the fans, inside the club it was different.

“He gets a big mention from the coaches - he’s a terrific young player,” he said.

“Probably a guy that’s taken a little bit of time to find his feet at AFL level, but we feel he’s making that wing position his own.

“He probably gets himself into a little bit of trouble - he confuses himself at times, going around in circles, but what he’s got is an uncanny ability to find a teammate, in and out of traffic.

“He’s become a very important player for us, and he’s having a very, very good year.”
 
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