Adelaide coach Brenton Sanderson believes giant-killing defender Daniel Talia is a lay-down misere to claim this year's NAB Rising Star award and a decent chance of bolting towards earning All-Australian honours.
Speaking after the Crows' impressive 28-point triumph over Fremantle at AAMI Stadium on Saturday, Sanderson was effusive in his praise of the young key defender, who performed a wonderful lockdown job on the hottest player in the AFL in recent weeks, Dockers superstar skipper Matthew Pavlich.
Talia kept Pavlich to just six kicks and two goals, adding yet another victim to his impressive list of crestfallen forwards this year.
Others to have had their colours lowered by Talia in 2012 are Sam Reid, James Podsiadly, Nick Riewoldt, Chris Dawes, Quinten Lynch and Michael Hurley, while a sizzling Tom Hawkins was subdued after Talia replaced Ben Rutten as the big forward's direct opponent in the second quarter of the Geelong clash a fortnight ago.
"He just wins the Rising Star now," Sanderson said unequivocally of the 20-year-old. "He's taken scalp after scalp after scalp.
"Pavlich is an outstanding player and has had an outstanding season he's been in red-hot form.
"For a young kid to do what he's doing every week, he just wins it (award).
"He could be (All-Australian)."
Not a prolific ball-winner, Talia had just eight disposals which was in line with his season average.
But Sanderson couldn't be more pleased with the role Talia is playing.
"He just beats the opposition's best forward every week," Sanderson said.
"He's not really part of our link up and our chain and our attack out.
"It shows great confidence when you can put a young kid on the opposition's best forward and he just knocks them over."
After a toughly-fought first half in which the game was very much in the balance, the Crows rolled over the top of Freo with a 5.7 to 3.1 third-quarter burst.
The home side had enough in reserve to run the game out strongly in the fourth.
"We knew Fremantle's pressure would be really good," Sanderson said. "They're the number two tackling side in the competition.
"They certainly pressure every possession you get.
"Our second half was as good as I've seen this year."
With Scott Thompson well held by Dockers tagger Ryan Crowley, Matt Wright stepped up with a career-best 37 possessions, along with six clearances and two goals.
But the man most responsible for the second-half onslaught was Patrick Dangerfield.
Dangerfield had 11 touches in the third stanza and drilled two long-range goals en route to a best-on-ground 33-possession, nine-clearance, eight-tackle afternoon.
"His whole game was great," Sanderson said of Dangerfield. "In the third quarter there were a couple of times where he just extracts the ball from a stoppage situation and bursts away.
"There are not many players who can do that there are players who are good inside, but they haven't got his power to get out of the contest."When we ask for a special effort from our team, it's normally him that's standing up."