AFL Round 2 – Port Power v GWS Giants: Nerves to Frustration

This one has me nervous, and that doesn’t happen a lot as a Giants fan. We beat Port last time out, we are a much improved side since then, and with that comes an expectation. More than a few (including myself) have had this one pencilled in as a ‘definite possibility’.

It is not, however, Sheedy’s 1,000th game. We are not at home. Port are not the rabble basket case they were when last we played. Ken Hinkley is now their coach and last weekend engineered a huge win over Melbourne in Melbourne (although it was only Melbourne). This week they are at home and playing for the memory of John McCarthy.

I think the balance has tilted, the rubber is poised over the pencilling, and sitting down to watch the game, young master showered and safely tucked into bed for the night, I am nervous.

The tributes to J-Mac are moving, our banner reads in part ‘Taken Too Soon’ and it’s true.

We bounce out of the blocks well with a couple of quick goals to Shiel and Giles. Port come back but the first quarter definitely belongs to us. Whitfield is going to be some sort of player and we have winners all over the ground. Cameron’s goal around a Port Player’s body off the hands of Sumner’s massive leap should be shortlisted for goal of the week.

I don’t think 11 points reflected our dominance. Has the occasion gotten to them?

If we deserved more of a lead than 11 points at quarter time, they deserved more of a lead than 16 points at half time. I spent most of that quarter yelling at the TV, much to the annoyance of my wife.

“MAN UP. FOR GOD SAKE TAKE AN OPPONENT AND F#%}*^G MAN UP”

“WHO THE HELL IS ON HIM?”

“LOOK AT THAT. FREE, FREE, FREE, FREE. THERE ARE NO GIANTS ANYWHERE NEAR THEM.”

“F#%}*^G MAN UP!!!!!”

It was the same in the third quarter. Everywhere you looked there were Port Adelaide players running free, totally uncontested. I was almost certain at one point we only had twelve or thirteen players on the park and we were somehow still running a NAB cup extended bench. Where was everybody?

And while we started the quarter better it wasn’t long before they got back on top. I still have no idea who was on Westhoff.

It was only wayward kicking that kept us in the game. Between Cameron’s goal in the 7th minute and Whitfield’s first in the 22nd Port kick seven straight behinds. Then they kick another. At the 25 minute mark of the third quarter we are remarkably only down by 14 points.

Then Port go bang, bang, bang with three goals in two and a half minutes of game time to get the reward they actually deserve. 12.17 to 8.9 at three quarter time.

Seven goals to three in the last term is about right as we run out of legs completely and the game descends into a bit of a farce. I’ve given up yelling.

Neade’s game for Port is the opposite of Whitfield’s. Where Lachie was really good early and only glimpsed late, Nead was barely noticeable early, but absolutely in everything later on. They will both end up with rising star noms at some point this year.

About the only winner we had over the course of the night was Rhys Palmer on Hamish Hartlet. Yes he kicked a freakish goal that hit the post, but apart from that Palmer blanked him out of the game completely.

So what started out as nervous ended in frustration. We can play better than that. We did in the first quarter.

Memo to Sheeds:
Whatever you said at quarter time… Don’t say it again.

Port on the other hand look like they might have a half decent year. OK, so their first two wins are against us and Melbourne but they have a real coach now and are playing a decent brand of footy that might even stand up to some of the better sides. It was a fitting performance to honour their mate.

For us, it’s not entirely back to the drawing board. There were some good signs early and a couple really late when the game was done and dusted. it’s about consistency and learning to play away from home.

There is always next week, and at least we’re not Melbourne.

PORT ADELAIDE 2.5 8.9 12.17 19.20 (134)
GWS 4.4 6.5 8.9 11.12 (78)

GOALS
Port Adelaide: Westhoff 5, Wingard 3, Broadbent, Neade 2, Schulz, O’Shea, Boak, Hartlett, Stewart, Ebert, Mitchell
GWS: Cameron 3, Shiel, Giles, Coniglio, Patton, Whitfield, Treloar, Brogan, Smith

BEST
Port Adelaide: Westhoff, Wingard, Neade, Pittard, Cornes, Stevenson
GWS: Whitfield, Cameron, Ward, Shiel, Coniglio, Treloar

Malarkey Medal Votes: 3 Westhoff, 2 Wingard, 1 Ebert (of the Brad variety)

About steve duffy

is in no particular order....writer, artist, graphic designer, library technician, Giants fan, dad, husband, friend, brother, son, reader, lover of music, resident of Penrith, Canberra boy, Raider fan, Brumbies fan, Cats fan, right handed, white with two (coffee) black with two (tea), left of centre.....

Comments

  1. Richard Naco says:

    Good write up, and there’s not much I can contest …

    … except, arguably that Rhys Palmer had a cracker for the Giants in his new role as a tagger & Liam Sumner was constantly having a red hot go. So both could have perhaps earnt spots in your best player lists (although I am biased, as I got to know both during my brief sojourn among the Orange People).

    I was very disappointed (again) by Dean Brogan’s play, and he seems increasingly incapable of basically meeting the physical requirements of AFL standard play. Like the commentary team, I would rather see Andrew “Sauce” Phillips getting more game time in order to develop his immense physical gifts, but again, I am unashamedly biased in this regard.

    Port played at times very much like a certain ex team of their (and the Crows’) head coach, and it will be interesting to see if they can sustain it against sides not likely to be in the bottom two of the ladder. It’s still a hell of an improvement on the tragic footy they served up in 2012.

    GWS, meanwhile, are developing extremely well and seem to be heading through the awkward ‘sophomore blues’ year that the Suns endured last year. If they can safely negotiate that phase, it will hopefully set them up for as significant step up in overall performance and competitiveness as the GCFC are showing so far this season.

    And they must be really hanging out for Round 4!

  2. Skip of Skipton says:

    At the 25 minute mark of the third quarter GWS were only 14 points down? I haven’t seen them this year, I don’t have Pay TV, but they seem alot more competitive. Ahead of where Gold Coast was at round 2 last year. Despite not being a good kicker of the ball, Rhys Palmer has always been a serious goer. Good to hear he played well. Tagging is probably his go now.

  3. Kath Presdee says:

    Richard – I like Sumner, he’s throwing himself into everything and he’s fast. I hope we re-sign him because he’s going to really complement the Patton/Cameron partnership. Sauce Phillips has been injured, but either he or Frost should be in the 22 rather than Brogan.

    Skip – Port helped by kicking 7 straight behinds in 3rd quarter.

  4. Richard Naco says:

    Skip: the game was on 7Mate, mate. And Rhys had some telling possessions as well as truly climbing clean up the nose of the normally unflappable Hartlett. It was a massive reinvention of his role, and one that should see his AFL thankfully prolonged.

    Kath – Liam Sumner is a really lovely kid. He and Rhys both impressed me by happily engaging with GWS supporters at every possible opportunity, and it’s pretty easy to only wish good things to happen for genuinely good people.

    Suace Phillips is a lovely bloke as well, but he is very much A Character. An incredibly funny (if very dry) wit, and he has a very similar sort of charisma to Billy Brownless (and very successful marketing strategies have revolved around far far less). His footy skills are still comparatively raw, but you can’t coach height, and he does have some quite amazing athletic ability (including a fair turn of pace for such a tall bloke, plus the proven ability to jump clean over the bonnet of a small car).

    He and Frosty are definitely the long term rucking future of the Giants, and with the excellent level of skill development available for them at Homebush the only question concerning their making their respective marks on the AFL is when.

  5. Skip of Skipton says:

    Kath- yes, Port being inaccurate maybe flattered the Giants on the scoreboard. Nonetheless, the scoreboard says they are more competitive. They are tracking well in my estimation. Did Scully earn his $45,000 pay cheque?

  6. Kath Presdee says:

    Scully is giving away too many free kicks. He’s everywhere, but we’re not getting the benefit of him getting to the ball or to the opposition. I’d love to see his efficiency, he seemed to get hard and contested ball, but kicks to the opposition. I know he’s still young but compared to most of his teammates, he has enough experience at the big time to not stuff up as much.

    Perhaps I’m being harsh, but much is expected of him and I’d hate to think his salary if he doesn’t perform might prevent us from keeping some of the kids who will.

  7. Skip of Skipton says:

    I share your concern Kath. I remember seeing Scully in his first year getting 19 possessions in a quarter against the Bulldogs (who were top 4). He was a running and linking machine that night. He can perform, don’t worry about that. He’s an ‘outside’ midfielder, winger etc. and should be employed as such.

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