Pyke not sorry for having a laugh at Tex
Crows coach Don Pyke - speaking publicly for the first time since the "laughing in the coaches' box" incident on the Gold Coast last Saturday - has said he's "moved on" from the incident.
"I've been in the game long enough to understand the importance of: 'You've got to win with humility and you've got to lose with dignity'," he said.
"That's always been my motto and I'd like to think that over my time, occasionally we can enjoy the game as well, (we're) not beyond enjoying the game.
"And sometimes our players do some wonderful things and sometimes they do some silly things and those things make you laugh, it was a bit of a storm in a tea cup for me to be honest."
Clarifying again he was laughing at Taylor Walker who called for a handball in the goalsquare, Pyke was in a jovial mood - laughing with journalists - at Wednesday's press conference, following a full training session at Adelaide Oval.
When quizzed about the players who didn't complete training he joked: "You blokes are observant, aren't you?".
Among the players who left the stadium early were defenders Luke Brown (tight back) and Alex Keath (load management with a sore ankle).
But one player who did impress was forward Tom Lynch who has spent five games on the sidelines with a calf injury.
Lynch completed full training for a second week and Pyke said the veteran goal-kicker was certainly in the selection mix.
"We'll see how he pulls up and take it from there," he said.
"He's a very good player and he was in really good form before we went out the team, hopefully everything pulls up well and we can get him back in there."
The question will be for Pyke: If Lynch comes back, who goes out? And it could be Tyson Stengle who kicked three goals on debut in Crows colours against the Gold Coast.
"Obviously (Stengle) came in for his first game last week and if Tom does come back in we need to look at who goes out and unfortunately someone will miss out if Tom does come back in," Pyke said.
Brodie Smith was another notable absentee from training, as he battles a virus. He didn't train with the main group, but Pyke said he expected him to play Essendon at home on Friday night.
A traditional defender, Smith is one of several players who is now being rotated through the Crows midfield.
"We've started exploring a few different guys through the mids … him in there a bit and Wayne Milera as well," Pyke said.
"So it's something we're keen to keep exploring and he showed some good signs last week, he's enjoying it, it's a slightly different role for him, it brings a different mix to our midfield balance, excited for what he can do in there.
"When Smith's had his best seasons, he's actually been one of our best both rebound-50 players and inside-50 players.
"He's one of those guys who's a high-metres-gained-type player, he covers the ground really well, he generally presses the game really well and we think that's a good mix to explore in the mids.
"We know what he can do back, but he's now getting an opportunity to play some mid minutes and it's good for him and good for the balance of the team.
"Certainly the way the game's playing now … adding some of the other guys who provide a bit more balance and run as well is important so we'll keep exploring that."
Pyke said a fit Keath or Brown could get the job on Bombers' matchwinning forward Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti.
"He's been in great form … Browny will certainly be in the mix. They've got (Orazio) Fantasia as well.
"Those two in particular are pretty damaging forwards and the Bombers are in good form, so it's another good opportunity and challenge on Friday night."
"Both teams are sitting at 9-7, we're seventh and eighth on the ladder and I think that's an indication of a) the importance of the game and b) the fact we're playing a side that's won five of their last six games and is probably one of the most in-form teams in the comp.
"As I keep saying, this comp doesn't allow you to rest and regardless of the result last week (a 95-point drubbing of the Suns) … we get Essendon and we understand the stakes are pretty big."