27/02/2024

Sam Jacobs is a three time Showdown medal winner (Image: Adelaide Crows/Design: Will Cuckson)

During a record-breaking win over the Power, Crows ruckman Sam Jacobs became the third player to win a third Showdown medal in Round 20 2017. The Inner Sanctum spoke exclusively with Jacobs about Showdown 43 and what the three Showdown medals meant to him.

During a record-breaking win over the Power, dominant Crows ruckman Sam Jacobs became the third player to win a third Showdown medal in Round 20, 2017.

The Inner Sanctum spoke exclusively with Jacobs about Showdown 43 and what his three Showdown medals mean to him.

Always a South Australian

Hailing from Ardrossan in South Australia, Sam Jacobs was every bit an Adelaide Crows supporter before being selected in the rookie draft to the Carlton Football Club in 2007. After 17 games over four years, he requested a trade back to South Australia which led him to the Crows, traded for picks 34 and 67.

Understanding the rivalry with Port Adelaide from a young age, Jacobs says that the first Showdown medal he received in 2012 was one of the many highlights of his career.

“I’m South Australian originally… I was born in 1988 and the first Showdown was in 1997 so I grew up watching that peak period of the Showdown.”

The rivalry was so important to Jacobs that he lists the Showdowns as the most important games he has played, excluding finals appearances.

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“I think because I’m South Australian, like I played in the Carlton and Collingwood games and the Carlton and Richmond ones, but because you’re South Australian this one means that little bit more to me and obviously I’m a Crows man as well.

“My dad was a big Sturt man and obviously they had a big rivalry with Port Adelaide, so I guess it was ingrained into me from an early age that Port Adelaide was the rival and I guess that continued on as being a Crows man growing up as well.”

Third Showdown medal

Earning his third Showdown medal in the 43rd meeting between the two Adelaide sides, Jacobs asserted his presence as one of the leading ruckmen in the competition. 45,028 spectators saw Jacobs dominate the game that day and was one of his best career performances, joining elite company in Josh Francou and Mark Ricciuto in the ‘three Showdown medals’ club, with Travis Boak joining later.

“It’s something I’m really proud of, I think because once again, it’s South Australia’s biggest game, I think to be able to perform, once again when it matters in the Showdown, it’s something that means a lot to me, not only that but throughout my career.”

“I had a great finals series at times, and it just re-instates that the way I play my football, was when it mattered I was able to perform and to be able to do it three times, one time and that’s a fluke but to back it up time after time, that’s it.”

More Showdown Exclusives

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The Rivalry

The rivalry that the Showdown brings between the two South Australian clubs is fierce and arguably the biggest of the league. Jacobs agrees with those who believe that the Showdown is the biggest game in a home and away season.

“As players, I think we hold them in high regard, especially through my period and I know throughout, Port Adelaide have been a pretty successful club and the players themselves, you know you get on well with a lot of people,”

“You play under-age sport together, they came from the same SANFL club, you know each other outside,”

“Once you put on the guernsey and that brings the responsibility that you have to play the way that’s required to get the result, and sometimes it can be a firey clash, sometimes it can be a coming together like the Phil Walsh game but once the ball is bounced you are certainly doing everything you can to get the win.”

The Crows forwards

The 84-point win by the Crows ensured they finished the round on top of the ladder with the Power in fifth position. Adelaide’s forward line was just as potent in this game as it was all year in 2017, with Josh Jenkins and Eddie Betts kicking four goals, Taylor Walker kicking three and Jacobs slotting two for himself.

“It starts obviously in the midfield, we’d had a lot of good midfield battles with Port Adelaide, sometimes we got them, sometimes they got us,

“That one that night I think, through that period I thought we had a really damaging forward line, not only against Port Adelaide, but that was throughout the competition and we knew when things clicked we were able to score, and score pretty heavily,

“I always thought the forward line was our advantage against other teams and that took us so far. Through that period we had Tex (Taylor Walker), JJ (Josh Jenkins), Lynchy (Tom Lynch) and (Mitch) McGovern as well as Charlie Cameron and Eddie (Betts), we had a really dynamic forward line.”

The effort of Betts was even more remarkable considering the fact that he was out through illness a few rounds prior. Betts had his appendix removed and was back to his best with two goal of the year contenders from the boundary, which had become routine for him. Playing together at Carlton, Jacobs believes Betts was no chance of missing much football.

“I think the one thing over his career is he didn’t miss training or games, I think that sort of goes missed a little bit,

“People talk about professional players, there’s maybe someone who does the most ice baths or you know prepares the best around the club but for me it’s about people who train and play games. Eddie is very much that, every training session he would, very rarely missed a game through injury, so it doesn’t surprise me (that he played),” he continued.

“He’s always a chance to play and I know he’s got a really high pain threshold, you don’t go through playing that amount of games without having that sort of fight within him.”

How the game played out

In a lopsided opening half, the Crows had 43 forward 50 entries to the Power’s 11. As has become a trademark for the Crows in recent years or so is the inaccurate goal-kicking, they kicked 1.9 in the first quarter and 5.15 to half-time. This was despite the midfield dominance, which saw the opportunities for goals go begging.

“I think we actually started the game well but we kicked a ton of points, so I think we went in at quarter time 1.12 or 1.13 to one goal. I remember Justin Westhoff kicked a goal but we had the ball at our end the whole quarter except that goal. They had one or two inside 50’s and kicked the goal, we played an outstanding quarter, we just couldn’t put it together on the scoreboard and from then on we just took over the game and we were really able to take it to them.”

The midfield during the game was led by Rory Sloane (30 disposals, one goal), Matt Crouch (34 disposals), Brad Crouch (29 disposals, one goal) and Richard Douglas (24 disposals). This was added to by Jacobs’s influence on the game, having 42 hit outs and two goals.

Port Adelaide were all at sea for the middle portion of the game, not scoring a goal from the eight-minute mark of the first quarter to eight minutes into the third quarter, highlighting how dominant the victory was for Adelaide.

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