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Max Phillips  August 27, 2017 10:26 PM

Sam Jacobs

Sam Jacobs

Our full focus is on getting home to play finals in front of our fans, playing well and performing when it matters

Crows ruckman Sam Jacobs says Adelaide will approach September like a ‘new season’ starting next fortnight against Greater Western Sydney.

The Crows earned their first minor premiership in more than a decade but couldn’t finish the home and away season on a winning note against West Coast on Sunday.

Adelaide kicked the first goal of the contest through Eddie Betts before conceding four unanswered majors leading into quarter-time.

An improved intensity helped the visitors close to within two points late in the second term, but the Crows never regained the lead for the remainder of the afternoon.

“We felt we probably only played 15 minutes of the type of footy that we actually wanted to,” Jacobs said.

“It was pretty simple in the end. We didn’t bring the effort or the strength around the contest for long enough.

“West Coast were able to execute the way they wanted to and got the points.”

Match report: Crows v Eagles

Despite the result, Adelaide locked top spot and will kick off the 2017 AFL Finals Series in a Qualifying Final against the Giants on Thursday, September 7 at Adelaide Oval.

The Crows downed Greater Western Sydney by 56 points in the only meeting between the two teams this year back in Round One. The Giants have also never won against Adelaide in South Australia.

But Jacobs said finals were a different beast, and recent records and ladder position would mean nothing once the ball was bounced in two weeks’ time.

“We know what finals look like,” Jacobs said.

“It’s nice to finish on top (of the ladder) and get that reward, but we know that doesn’t guarantee anything. Our full focus is on getting home to play finals in front of our fans, playing well and performing when it matters.

“We’re excited by that challenge and the new season that’s coming.”

Jacobs will be vital to Adelaide’s chances in the major round.

The 29-year-old bettered his own Club record for the number of hit-outs in a single season by a Crow with a match-high 51 taps against West Coast tandem Nathan Vardy and Drew Petrie on Sunday.

It helped Adelaide win the clearance (50-33) and inside 50m (53-50) tallies against the Eagles, although the Crows couldn’t make the most of Jacobs’ dominance.

The performance capped off a stellar home and away season for Jacobs, who could earn his first All Australian blazer after being selected in the 40-man squad on two previous occasions (2012, 2014).

“I feel I’ve played at a consistent level now for much of the year,” Jacobs said.

“Coming into the season I got some strong feedback on what my teammates demand of me, and I like to think that I’ve followed up on that.

“I’m really excited for the finals series. There’s traditionally a lot of stoppages, so I feel I’ve got a big part to play over the next month.”

Greater Western Sydney ruckman Shane Mumford awaits Jacobs in the Qualifying Final.

‘Sauce’ knows exactly what to expect from the 197cm, 105kg Giant next fortnight.

“It’s always a battle. You either jump on board and bring your competitiveness or you’ll get found out,” he said.

“We’ve played a lot of footy against each other now. It’s another great opportunity for us to put our best foot forward first up and it’s my responsibility to get the mids going at the stoppages.

“I’m looking forward to it.”