AFL Round 14 – Port Adelaide v Collingwood: See you in September

By Siobhan Calafiore

Saturday’s twilight football match provided another stunning display by the Port Adelaide Football Club and another reminder why this team should not be written off.

In perfect conditions and under the watchful eye of a boisterous home crowd, the Power came away with a 35-point win in a low-scoring contest against the Pies. The Power looked fitter than their opponents, used the ball better, tackled more ferociously and showed more fight.

Collingwood began the game strongly kicking the first two goals but once Port took the lead late in the first term, they never looked back. To the Pies’ credit, it was an arm-wrestle for the first three quarters. In the last quarter, the Collingwood Faithful hoped their team could lift another gear but it was Port that found that gear and tore the game apart.

Brad Ebert was arguably best on ground with 30 disposals and a goal, while his teammate Matthew Broadbent enjoyed a career-high 34 possessions. Justin Westhoff discovered some of his best form kicking three goals. For Collingwood, Paul Seedsman had a standout game with 34 disposals and 15 marks but not enough of his teammates joined him.

Here are five things I took away from the game:

1. Great display of sportsmanship

Let’s admit it, we all enjoy the half-time scuffle every now and then. Seeing a bit of player biff, guernseys ripped and the umpire blowing on his whistle like Rose in the Atlantic Ocean adds to the excitement of the game. But that does not compare to the feeling you get when you see two rival clubs about to do battle come together before the game the way Port Adelaide and Collingwood did. United, the two teams ran through a joint banner honouring the late John McCarthy. Then three of his best mates from each team gathered in the centre of the field for the coin toss. It was hard not to get a little bit emotional.

2. Last week wasn’t a fluke

Many people doubted Port as a finals contender. It was almost laughable that they were still at the top of the ladder by the end of Round 5 alongside the likes of Geelong and Hawthorn. Who had they beaten? Three bottom sides and an out of form West Coast and Adelaide. Well, these last two performances have shown the footy world that Port Adelaide is the real deal. Watching their relentless pressure and hunger for the footy reminded me of the 2010 Collingwood side.

3. Port’s drafting is paying off

Chad Wingard, pick number 6 in the 2011 draft, is starting to get the recognition he deserves by the wider footy community. So much so that Collingwood’s Brent McCaffer played a tagging role on him. Coach Ken Hinkley praised the young gun for managing to influence the game despite the tag with 21 disposals and two goals. He is in All-Australian form.

But he is not the only one. When Domenic Cassisi was subbed out early with an injury, his replacement in Ollie Wines stepped up in the most crucial stages of the game. The number 7 pick of last year’s draft had a16 possession last quarter and goal that put Port in the clear. Now that is the stuff of champions.

4. Did I just witness mark of the year?

Jamie Elliot has attempted a few great hangars in his short football career but this one was by far the best of all. Travis Cloke bombed the ball inside 50 to where three Port players stood in a row. Elliot, from behind, leapt straight up onto Ebert’s shoulders and plucked the ball right out of the air. The gasp of the crowd said it all.

5. Collingwood’s forward woes aren’t getting any better

Nothing worked for Collingwood up forward. Not when they kicked it in long, not when they chipped the ball around, not when they put Dane Swan up there as a last resort. Cloke was the only target and you could feel his frustration every time the ball came his way and two or three Port players went to him. The smalls had no impact when the ball went to ground and Quentin Lynch failed to distract any of the attention away from Cloke.

The last time Port Adelaide beat Collingwood was all the way back in 2007, the year they also last played finals footy. Well, if they keep producing the performances of the past fortnight, we might just be seeing them this September.

 

PORT ADELAIDE    4.2  7.3  8.6  13.8  (86)
COLLINGWOOD      2.3  4.5  5.6   7.9   (51)

GOALS

Port Adelaide: Westhoff 3, Schulz 3, Monfries 2, Wingard 2, Brad Ebert, Wines, Boak

Collingwood: Cloke 2, Dwyer 2, Maxwell, Elliot, Kennedy

BEST

Port Adelaide: Brad Ebert, Broadbent, Boak, Wines, Schulz, Westhoff, Wingard

Collingwood: Seedsman, Pendlebury, Hudson, Maxwell

Umpires: Donlon, Bannister, Stevic

Official crowd: 31, 121

Our Votes: 3 Brad Ebert (PA) 2 Broadbent (PA) 1 Seedsman (Coll)

 

 

About Siobhan Calafiore

I'm a passionate Collingwood supporter with a love for writing and am currently studying journalism at RMIT University.

Comments

  1. PeterSchumacher says:

    Really liked this report and in particular I agree both teams coming together to honour the memory of John McCarthy although without being disrespectful, at this distance in time it might opportune to remember the circumstances of his death which weren’t exactly great.

  2. siobhan says:

    Thanks for the feedback Peter. I’m glad you enjoyed it.

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