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Sauce puts team first

Sam Jacobs
In only his second season at Adelaide, ruckman Sam Jacobs has been recognised with the Club’s Best Team Man award.

Traded to the Crows from Carlton at the end of 2010, Jacobs established himself as one of the premier ruckmen in the competition this year.

The 24-year-old from the Yorke Peninsula shouldered the majority of Adelaide’s ruck duties. He played 24 of a possible 25 games, leading the competition in total hit-outs (743) and hit-outs to advantage (232).

Jacobs was also instrumental around the ground, averaging 13.4 possessions and four marks.

He was included in the preliminary All-Australian squad, but was controversially overlooked in the final 22 in favour of part-time West Coast ruckman Nic Naitanui.

“I was pretty happy with my season,” Jacobs said.

“I was able to stay injury-free and play all bar one game. It was also good to play in a few finals even though it was disappointing not to get to the Grand Final.”

The 2012 Best Team Man Award capped off a big night for Jacobs, who polled 78 votes to finish fourth in the Crows Club Champion award. He received votes in every game he played (he missed the Round 18 clash with Geelong through injury).

The popular Crow received a season-high seven votes for his dominant display against Port Adelaide in Round 15, in which he amassed a record 61 hit-outs and 19 possessions to claim the Showdown Medal for best player on the ground.

Crows Club Champion Scott Thompson said Jacobs deserved a lot of the credit for Adelaide’s improvement in the midfield this year.

“Our season is probably a reflection of what ‘Sauce’ has been able to do,” he said.

“His ruckwork makes us look like better players.”

Jacobs notched up his 50-game milestone in Adelaide’s win over Richmond in Round 14.

Previous winners of the Best Team Man award include, Michael Doughty (2011 and 2008), Scott Stevens (2010 and 2007), Brad Symes (2009), Mark Ricciuto (1994 and 2003), Mark Bickley (1992, 1993 and 2000), Simon Goodwin (2006) and Nathan Bassett (2005).