AFL Round 12: Bulldogs v Port Adelaide: Dogs chew up insipid Port

By Nick Kossatch

I was on a ‘high’ after watching the St Kilda and Carlton match the previous night – Friday night footy on national TV.

It was pure football – tough, no flooding, and man-on-man.

The following day, on a cool Saturday afternoon, in my role as a football writer for The Murray Pioneer, I witnessed a classic game between Barmera-Monash and Berri in South Australia’s Riverland Football League.

It was for the Fisher Cup.

Terry Fisher, father of St Kilda star Sam Fisher, represented both Berri and Barmera-Monash during the 1970s and ’80s.

The Berri Demons should have won, going down by five points.

The top-of-the-table Barmera-Monash Roos were on the cusp of losing to the bottom side.

Two hours later I sat down in the warmth of my girlfriend Nat’s loungeroom and watched two hours of the most insipid, unskilled and unaccountable football from Port against the Western Bulldogs in Darwin.

The sons of the West smacked then zapped the Power by 93 points to short-circuit the SA club out of the eight and leave coach Mark Williams nervously waiting for the axe to potentially fall down on him.

The Doggies hunted in packs and that work ethic turned the Power into ‘playthings’ or rubber bones.

Midfielders Daniel Cross, Brownlow medallist Adam Cooney, Ryan Griffen and ex-Port player Nathan Eagleton ran amok – regularly sharking off the bearded Ben Hudson and muscly Will Minson’s taps.

In fact ‘Huddo’ and Will made mince meat out of Port’s ruckmen Dean Brogan and Brendon Lade.

The only players who added any ‘spunk’ to the 2004 premiers were Darwin-raised Tom Logan and David ‘Roadrunner’ Rodan.

Danyle Pearce had his downhill skier uniform on and his teammates Peter Burgoyne and Michael Pettigrew followed suit.

At least replacement full-back Toby Thurstans, filling in for the ill Alipate Carlile, fought hard and beat ex-Crow Scott Welsh. Jacob Surjan was as desperate as usual in the back lines in Michael Wilson-type fashion.

For the Western Bulldogs Josh Hill was mesmerising in the forward half and he booted three goals along with ten grabs.

Who is on this mercurial indigenous player, I asked myself?

Fellow Aboriginal local Daniel Motlop did not get a sniff and it was obvious his ankle injury rendered him useless.

Brett Ebert had his hands on the ball whenever Port went forward (which was rare) but too many times the ball was spilt, which allowed Daniel Giansiracusa and Brian Lake and the like to repeatedly run the ball out.

Whenever the Alberton boys (not men) moved the ball swiftly, they looked at least like a half-decent football team.

Poor Warren Tredrea must get deflated as he watches the ball pinged around sideways, backwards, before eventually get turned over.

That is after ‘Tredders’ leads several times, leaving the veteran superstar heaving and muttering expletives under his breath.

Big Warren was at the end of a few whenever the Power decided to play basic footy.

Jason Akermanis and club legend and skipper Brad Johnson also outsmarted Port’s defenders and smiling ‘Johnno’ barked off three majors for the ‘Scray Dogs’.

Geelong awaits Port Adelaide after the midseason break at Skilled Stadium.

It will be the Cats’ part two of their ‘Basket Case Assignment’ after they play Fremantle in Perth.

Western Bulldogs  4.2  8.5  13.9  21.11 (137)
Port Adelaide  1.1  4.1  5.2  7.2 (44)

GOALS
Western Bulldogs: Hill 3, Johnson 3, Minson 3, Giansiracusa 2, Hahn 2, Gilbee, Griffen, Picken, Akermanis, Boyd, Ward, Hudson, Higgins
Port Adelaide: Ebert 2, D. Motlop, Rodan, Tredrea, J. Westhoff, Cassisi

BEST
Western Bulldogs: Cross, Hargrave, Cooney, Griffen, Harbrow, Picken, Higgins, Gilbee, Minson
Port Adelaide: Cassisi, Rodan, K. Cornes, Thurstans

OUR VOTES
3: W. MINSON (WB)
2: D. CROSS (WB)
1: J. HILL (WB)

About Nicholas Kossatch

Tall and intelligent and athletically built who calls a spade a spade. Love sports writing and sending letters and texts to the editor about AFL and the Port Adelaide Power – win, lose or draw. I do not sit on the fence.

Soon to be 40! I play basketball and over 35’s supers football. Have played amateur footy and a bit of cricket and basketball when living in Adelaide. Do some writing for the Murray Pioneer,

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