Sam Jacobs delivered on his ‘tall mid’ tag at Adelaide Oval on Saturday.
Jacobs won fewer hit-outs than last week, but his influence around the ground against Fremantle was far greater. The 202cm Crow, who prides himself on being more than just a very good tap ruckman, collected 21 possessions – his most in a game this season – at 81 per cent efficiency.
He took six marks, including three contested, won three clearances and sent the ball inside 50m twice. Of his game-high 30 hit-outs, 10 were to his team’s advantage.
Perhaps, the best measure of his importance was the score involvement statistic. Jacobs was involved in 11 scores, or 40 per cent of Adelaide’s total score – more than any other Crow.
Despite these numbers, Jacobs wasn’t a clear standout in the Club’s 33-point win. Rather, he was one of a pleasing number of contributors, continuing Adelaide’s trend of evenness this season.
“I think that’s the standard now,” Jacobs said after the game.
“We don’t expect individuals to dominate. We expect everyone to contribute and play their role, and I felt that’s what we did today. Everyone had their moments throughout the game.
“In saying that, there are still things in our lines that we can definitely work on.”
After a tight first half, the Crows were able to find some space in the third quarter.
Adelaide kicked five goals to extend its 12-point half-time lead to 32 at the final change.
“Pykey just said to keep at it, to keep competing and trying to win the hard ball,” Jacobs said.
“I think our contested possession numbers (152 – 145) were pretty good, so that shows we were able to get our hands on it. The clearances were a little bit down (30 – 35).
“We’d love to play free-flowing and high-scoring footy … but it’s not always going to happen. Fremantle came with an appetite for the contest.”
Adelaide’s hard-fought win snapped a four-game losing streak against Fremantle.
“I think it (our last win against Freo) was the Semi-Final of 2012, which seems like a distant memory now,” Jacobs said.
“It’s great to get another win and it puts us in a strong position going forward against the Bulldogs.”
A crowd of 47,423 turned out to watch the Crows shake off the Dockers.
It was the highest-ever attendance for a match between the two teams, and the biggest home and away crowd Fremantle has played in front of.
“It speaks volumes of our crowd,” Jacobs said.
“We’re very lucky to play in front of the crowds we do every week. Our fans definitely help and we can hear them.
“It’s funny, sometimes I talk to (assistant coach Matthew) ‘Doc’ Clarke on the bench and I have to tell him to hold off a second because the crowd is so loud!”
The Crows also carried on their good form in milestone matches on Saturday, winning in David Mackay’s 150th. This follows victories in Daniel Talia and Brodie Smith’s 100 games, and in Scott Thompson’s 250th Club game.
It’s also extends the Club’s winning run at home to eight matches.
“It’s great to get away as a team and play away, but there’s nothing better than playing at home,” Jacobs said.
“It was Dmac’s turn for a milestone today and he had another good game.
"It’s nice to win for him and also for our fans.”
Saturday’s slog against Fremantle could be good preparation for Adelaide’s next clash with the Western Bulldogs.
At the start of this round the Dogs, who also have a 4-2 win/loss record, had conceded fewer points than any other team in the competition this season.
“People probably remember us and the Bulldogs for our high-scoring ability last year,” Jacobs said.
“We’ve both had moments like that this year, but I reckon both teams have really had a big focus on defence.
"It was good for us to keep Fremantle to a pretty low score today.”