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Petrenko talks up power forwards

Sportal August 27, 2012, 3:31 pm
Taylor Walker

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Adelaide goal-sneak Jared Petrenko believes forward duo Taylor Walker and Kurt Tippett are the key to the Crows' flag aspirations as they prepare for September action.

The big-bodied pair have kicked 86 goals in 33 matches between them and have been able to co-exist in a forward partnership that has proven a handful for opposition defences this season.

Walker in particular has been in sensational form since returning from a three-week suspension for a sling tackle.

The 22-year-old was held goalless in his return in Adelaide's 27-point loss to Geelong in Round 18 but has since kicked 16 goals in four matches.

A haul of 4.2 to go along with 25 disposals and 16 marks in the Crows' 69-point hammering of Melbourne last Sunday has capped off a remarkable month for the man known as 'Tex'.

Tippett who has struggled with concussion after suffering a series of head knocks recently returned to form against the Demons in his just second game in seven weeks, booting 3.1 while plucking 11 marks.

Petrenko, who has been enjoying his most consistent season at West Lakes, said the Crows were chomping at the bit to have the pair hitting form on the eve of the club's first finals campaign since 2009.

The diminutive forward was further pleased with the rapid progress Tippett has made following his recent absence and unresolved future at the club.

"It's going to be powerful for us having Kurt and Tex up and going in the next couple of weeks," Petrenko said.

"It's good to see Kurt ... for a bloke who loves footy as much as he does ... get back into form and kick a couple of goals."

Petrenko reserved special praise for Walker, however.

"I love playing footy with Text, he wears his heart on his sleeve ... some of the things he can do are freakish," Petrenko said.

"For a big guy he can mark the ball in the air and also win it on the ground.

"He's pretty hard to match up and if he can take that form into the finals it will be great for us."

Another player who has given Adelaide something to crow about is ruckman Sam Jacobs.

The 203cm giant struggled to find his feet after four seasons at Carlton but has since come into his own having joined the Crows in 2011.

The 'big sauce' has enjoyed a breakout year this season sitting second for hit-outs in the competition and is being touted for All Australian selection.

Jacobs' Showdown Medal winning performance in the 58-point win over rivals Port Adelaide, where he had 19 disposals and amassed an AFL record 61 hit-outs, typified how instrumental the 24-year-old has been for the Crows in 2012.

A notion not lost on Petrenko and his team-mates.

"Sauce has been outstanding for us all this year and we love having him in the side," Petrenko said.

"The workload he handles is outstanding and blokes like Danger (Patrick Dangerfield) and Thommo (Scott Thompson) (in the midfield) are reaping the rewards through his good form.

"He's not only winning the ruck contests but getting the ball around the ground and helping out the defenders as well, so he's a massive part of our team."

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