AFL Elimination Final – Port Adelaide v Richmond: Tiger fans look away…

Sunday’s fixture promised so much; a glorious day in Adelaide was the backdrop for the second elimination final between Port Adelaide and Richmond. A packed house at the Adelaide Oval in full voice electrified the atmosphere around the ground. This truly was September football.

Westhoff kicked the first goal and the Power fans rose as one for the first time in the afternoon. Schulz then kicked another and it was clear to all and sundry that the Power were the ones who had settled first.

The Tigers were jumped early on and their play showed it; Vlastuin gave away an unruly 50m penalty and Houli fumbled, turning the ball over running into a paddock of space on the wing only for it to be swooped upon and taken the other way.

Boak then delivered another goal and the Power were out by three goals in the blink of an eye.

The Power were exhilarating and smashed Richmond on the spread and in tight, which the Tigers would have talked about preventing in their team meetings during the week.

White, Polec, Wines and then a great finish on the run from Neade added to the Tigers misery early on as the game threatened to be over by quarter time. Reece Conca consoled the Tiger’s faithful when he finally opened Richmond’s account in the 20th minute, but the fairy-tale was quickly becoming a nightmare.

The under-siege Tigers leaked another goal this time to Monfries, 42 points in arrears and in deep trouble at the first break. Their leaders needed to stand up.

The second term more closely resembled the arm wrestle that had been expected pre-game, each team struggling to retain possession. But it was Westhoff who broke the deadlock, defying a tricky breeze to convert a set-shot after running onto a short pass from Polec.

Port Adelaide continued to pepper the goals even though the breeze was against them; Neade kicked his second after a sloppy tackle from Houli drew a free kick. The Tigers were being pushed off the cliff.

Schulz then kicked his second after the efforts of team-mates further afield allowed him to run into an open goal. Tiger players and fans alike looked a shattered force, unable to come to terms with the wreckage that was unfolding before them.

Matt White was subbed off which was the only sour note for the Power in the first half as they continued to delight their home fans with free-flowing football.

Richmond then kicked a couple of goals to reduce the margin slightly, but there was no papering over the gaping cracks at half time, they were 69 points down and their winning streak looked in tatters.

Things didn’t improve for the yellow and black in the second half, the Power continuing to throw body blows at the hapless Tigers as the locals howled for more blood. Ebert obliged, kicking a great goal after being hemmed in on the boundary line in the pocket.

A small consolation would have been at one stage they had kicked three of four goals midway through the third quarter, although the game was gone – 81 points was the margin at the last change.

Port put the cue in the rack after three quarter time, one eye no doubt on the enthralling semi-final clash ahead next week against Fremantle. It made no difference to the result however, running out dominant 57 point victors.

Port Adelaide had winners all over the ground, Boak and Gray prolific with 33 and 25 disposals respectively and Wingard played some of his best footy with 21 disposals, 2 goals and a couple of great marks in the final term.

It was an un-ceremonious end to the Tigers season, a brutal reminder of just how much work they have to do if they are to elevate themselves into the elite group of teams in the competition. Port Adelaide was rampant from the start and if they bring that intensity next week, they could well earn themselves a preliminary final berth.

 

Port Adelaide          8.1   14.5   19.8   20.12 (132)

Richmond                  1.1    3.2    6.5     11.9 (75)

 

GOALS

Port Adelaide: Neade 3, Westhoff 2, Schulz 2, Polec 2, Wingard 2, Monfries 2, Wines 2, Ebert 2, Boak, White, Gray

Richmond: Riewoldt 3, Gordon 2, Conca, Maric, Grigg, Deledio, Griffiths, Edwards

 

BEST

Port Adelaide: Boak, Westhoff, Neade, Carlile, Gray, Wingard

Richmond: Cotchin, Miles, Deledio, Morris

 

Votes:

3 – Boak (Port Adelaide)

2 – Westhoff (Port Adelaide)

1 – Wingard (Port Adelaide)

About Jeremy Hill

Devoted Hawthorn supporter and University Blacks footballer who spends more time watching, reading and writing about sport than is considered healthy. Like most people my age, I'm 20.

Comments

  1. Callum O'Connor says

    The 10000 Richmond supporters who went to Adelaide…
    Worst. Trip. Ever.

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