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Hinkley left "embarrassed", but Pyke warns: "Crows can play better"

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Adelaide ruckman and three-time Showdown medallist Sam Jacobs says the AFL pacesetting Crows are in a rush.

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The Crows hold a six-point gap from second spot after demolishing Port Adelaide by 84 points yesterday – their largest-ever win over their arch foe.

Jacobs was judged best afield, joining Adelaide legend Mark Ricciuto and Port’s Josh Francou as three-time winners of the Showdown medal.

The win guarantees a finals double chance, and all-but delivers Adelaide a top-two finish, with just three games remaining before the major round.

“We are a really focused group, we are a really driven group,” Jacobs said.

“There’s a really strong belief and a real rush to get to where we want to.”

Jacobs said Adelaide’s stellar season evidenced growing maturity and synergy within the playing group.

“This team, a lot of guys have played four, five, six years together.

“And now we have got some real stability and we’re working on the finer things in our game plan.”

Sam Jacobs outgunned in-form ruckman Paddy Ryder to be judged best on ground. Photo: Michael Errey / InDaily

Adelaide winger David Mackay suffered a corked thigh against Port and will face a fitness test ahead of next Saturday night’s away match against Essendon.

Port, meanwhile, were left embarrassed as Adelaide’s utter dominance shocked coach Ken Hinkley.

The Crows recorded 81 inside 50 entries to 31, won the contested ball count by 46, and had 100 more disposals and 29 more scoring shots than his side.

“We got bashed up,” Hinkley said.

“I find it unexcusable (sic) to play that poorly in a game of football.”

Adelaide’s winning margin bettered their 83-point triumph against Port in a 2005 semi-final.

“We got what we deserved, a smacking,” Hinkley said.

“They (Port players) would feel embarrassed by it, and we should collectively as a club feel embarrassed by our performance.”

The Power are in a mid top-eight ruck, holding fifth spot by percentage and six points shy of fourth-placed Geelong.

But Adelaide appear a lock for a top-two finish and the associated home first final and double chance.

Mercurial Crows forward Eddie Betts kicked four goals – including two more boundary-liners for his highlight reel – just 14 days after having his appendix removed, while teammate Josh Jenkins also booted four.

Captain Taylor Walker was imposing with three goals and 23 disposals, while Jacobs kicked two goals and ruled his ruck duel with Paddy Ryder.

He provided silver service for an Adelaide midfield headlined by Rory Sloane (30 disposals, one goal), Matt Crouch (34 disposals), his brother Brad (29 touches, one goal) and Richard Douglas (24 possessions).

And even some extreme rain and tricky winds couldn’t halt Adelaide’s scoring power, though Crows coach Don Pyke warned the best was yet to come.

“We can play better,” Pyke said.

“Self-satisfaction doesn’t lead to progress.”

With three games remaining, the Crows are in the box seat to retain their top billing.

“We’re in a position where tonight we have secured top four,” Pyke said.

“There’s no reason to suggest we shouldn’t be shooting to finish top two and give ourselves the best opportunity come finals.

“We have been able to create that opportunity, now it’s about maximising it.”

-AAP

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