ADELAIDE ruckman Sam Jacobs responded from a tough start in his ruck duel with Patrick Ryder to hold his own against Port Adelaide's resurgent big man.
Jacobs continued his wonderful start to the season with a strong performance for the unbeaten Crows in their 17-point victory against the Power in Showdown 42 at Adelaide Oval on Saturday night.
Ryder – who missed last season serving a 12-month anti-doping suspension as part of the Essendon supplements saga – made up for lost time with an outstanding first quarter, racking up 23 hit-outs and five possessions.
After just nine hit-outs in the first term, Jacobs made a couple of subtle changes to counter Ryder's leaping ability and won the hit-out count 33-25 in the remaining three quarters of the game.
"I guess I haven't played against Paddy for a while, so it probably took me a little while just to find my feet," Jacobs told AFL.com.au.
"We know he's an unreal jumper and he probably jumped over me at the start.
"It probably took me a little bit to adjust, but I was able to get back into the game in the second quarter and help give our midfielders first use of the ball.
"I think we got them in the clearances in the end, so it was nice to play my role."
Jacobs is more than playing his role – he was arguably the best player on the ground in his side's round two win against Hawthorn at the MCG.
With Josh Jenkins sidelined with a rib injury, Jacobs got some assistance in the ruck against the Power from 1.94m utility Andy Otten.
"He's got a bit of a basketball background so he uses his body well," Jacobs said.
"Otto probably doesn't have the height, but he's just a really strong competitor.
"For me, it was just business as usual and Otto picked up the minutes that JJ usually plays."
The Crows are on top of the table despite having had slow starts in all three of their games.
"Our process is right, but we're making a few errors that are costing us on the scoreboard," Jacobs said.
"Our KPI's probably aren't where we want them to be, but we just have to make sure we're on top of everything and make sure teams don't score easy goals.
"We'll enjoy this win for 24 hours, review, then get ready go again against Essendon."