Dimma dilemma

The Coffs Coast Advocate - - NEWS -

highs for for­ward-half score in­volve­ments (12), for­ward­half ground balls (10), for­ward-half dis­pos­als (19) and for­ward-half con­tested pos­ses­sions (12).

Coach Damien “Dimma” Hard­wick de­scribed the 26year-old as “enor­mous”.

“I thought (tag­ger Stephen) Coniglio was on top of him in the first half, and then he went for­ward,” he said.

“That’s the great thing about great play­ers ... when we needed him to be a pres­ence up for­ward he cre­ated those chances for us.

“I’ve got a chess piece there that I can move at var­i­ous stages.”

Like Pa­trick Danger­field, Martin is such a unique phys­i­cal spec­i­men with all the at­tributes to thrive any­where on the field.

“That’s the hard thing about Dustin (for the op­posi- tion) – it’s try­ing to find the right match-up,” Hard­wick said.

The Crows have the third­most miserly de­fence, soundly mar­shalled by full­back Daniel Talia, top in­ter­cep­tor Jake Lever and the dash­ing Rory Laird. But they will strug­gle to find a suit­able de­fender to man the dan­ger­ous Martin. He’s too ag­ile for talls and too strong for the smalls.

It will be a ma­jor dilemma for coach Hard­wick – per­sist with his main man up the front or send him back to be­ing on the ball to help out skip­per Trent Cotchin, know­ing full well that Ade­laide is No.2 for clear­ances and No.1 for con­tested dis­pos­als.

Rory Sloane is back and the Crouch broth­ers, Matt and Brad, have fi­nally come of age. Their power at the stop­pages has led to the Crows be­ing able to get the best out of their most pow­er­ful weap- on – their at­tack – as No.1 for scor­ing power (av­er­ag­ing 109 points per game)

It’s the most com­plete for­ward­line in the busi­ness, with Tay­lor Walker (52 goals) lead­ing from the front and backed by Ed­die Betts (54), Josh Jenk­ins (45), Tom Lynch (31) and pre­lim­i­nary fi­nal hero Char­lie Cameron (28).

It will put the best-per­formed de­fence of the Tigers (con­ced­ing an av­er­age 75 points) to the ul­ti­mate test.

Walker, who will be manned by All-Aus­tralian full­back Alex Rance, booted five last time as the Crows won by 76 points at the Ade­laide Oval to make it three in a row against the Tigers.

Manic in their pres­sure, the Tigers will be de­ter­mined to keep the ball away from them by con­trol­ling pro­ceed­ings up field. Hard­wick will be think­ing “if only I had two Dustin Martins”.

PHOTO: MARK BRAKE/GETTY

ED­DIE’S READY: Ed­die Betts and David Mackay dur­ing a Crows train­ing ses­sion.

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