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