AFL Round 18 – Port Adelaide v Melbourne: Triple fun in Sydney Town

Port Adelaide vs Melbourne at Adelaide Oval –Triple Header at the REH.


Dan Hansen                                                                           


It’s not very often the planets align, causing a minor black hole which creates a vortex that sucks the whole universe into one location, but that’s what happened on Sunday the 20 July 2014. There was a coincidence of coincidences occurring at the Royal Exhibition Hotel in Surry Hills. The NSW Port Supporters group were there to watch the Port Adelaide – Melbourne game, as well as a reunion of Sydney-based Adelaide University ex-players and a Football Almanac get together all at the one location. And I was there for the triple header.


The reunion and almanackers had taken over the court yard where they were entertained by speeches of such eloquence and wittiness that any attempt to retell them would not do justice. We were regaled in stories of how some Adelaide University legends obtained their nicknames, how Dr Bob Neil is invariably required to report to the match day office at most test match venues around the world and how some hats have an unusual collection of names on them. If a similar event ever comes to a town near you, you should do yourself a Molly Meldrum and make sure you attend.


The Port supporters group, who normally watch games in the court yard were banished upstairs to the cocktail bar. All of the pregame talk amongst the devoted ones was about the announcement of Dom Cassisi’s retirement. Not many could fathom why he would retire now. Granted he had been in and out of the team lately but if there were a few injuries, especially to Kane Cornes, there would be a role for him. Even if injuries did not eventuate there was the possibility of a premiership with Port’s SANFL team. The only thing that made his retirement make any sense was the rumour that his knee was in such a bad way that going on was not a realistic option.


As the game was progressing I managed to hover between all three functions without really noticing much of it. I was upstairs when Port moved out to a comfortable lead and then went back downstairs to socialise with the other groups. My football coach from twenty five years ago, and avid Dees supporter, Digby Hancock had lost interest in the game and fellow Port stalwart and former Adelaide And Sydney University footballer Ferret Granger was also getting a bit indifferent about the game.


At half time I managed to bump into Jeff (the Port supporter group’s resident optimist) at the bar, where he proudly declared “we have our mojo back”. Late in the third quarter I noticed that the Dees had edged their way in front and Digby Hancock started to perk up a bit. There was a throng of Crows (AKA anti-Port) supporters down stairs who  also became vocal. Rulebook Ashwood, Flasher Flavel  and Nigel Smart’s good mate Ella Bache started to cheer on the Dees. At three quarter time I joined Jeff upstairs looking for Port’s mojo under the beer coasters and ashtrays, without any luck.


Amongst the Port supporters there was the usual crowd that I knew quite well. There was, however, one new addition. A young girl, dressed in a Port Adelaide away guernsey who was quite passionate, loud and supporting with a bit of fervour. I thought she was just another typical Port Adelaide supporter. I introduced myself and asked her what she was doing in Sydney. She replied with “I’m here to do my PhD in Mathematics at UNSW”. I thought, “yes, just another garden variety passionate Port supporter of extreme intellect”.


As the last quarter started Port looked leg weary and Melbourne hit the lead. The last ten minutes was a tight tussle with the two Dom’s being prominent. Dom Tyson was getting plenty of the ball and being extremely dangerous. Dom Cassisi wasn’t getting many touches but was very vocal and did his best to rev the team up. In the end it was a classy mark and goal to Schulz that sealed a hard fought victory.


Cassisi didn’t really dominate but was one of the best on ground simply because he inspired a tired team to victory. In the post-match press conference Hinkley praised Dom. He said the win was one crafted in a Domenic Cassisi fashion, by winning lots of contested ball and tackling. Farewell Dom, you are a true club warrior and you deserved a victorious send off. We’ll miss you. Especially the eyebrows.


PORT ADELAIDE                                4.4          7.6          8.9          10.12 (72)

MELBOURNE                      2.3          5.5          8.7          10.9 (69)



Port Adelaide: Westhoff 2, Stewart 2, Schulz 2, Pittard, Boak, Wingard, Young

Melbourne: Tyson 2, Tapscott, Vince, Pedersen, Frawley, Blease, Kennedy-Harris, Watts, Bail



Port Adelaide: Wines, Westhoff, Gray, Lobbe, Ebert, Cassisi

Melbourne: Tyson, Jones, Frawley, Jamar, Viney


Umpires: Margetts, Dalgleish, Harris


Official crowd: 37,894 at Adelaide Oval


Our Votes: 3 Wines (PA), 2 Tyson (M), 1 Westhoff(PA)



  1. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Good summary of a great day , Danny the dees lacked composure in the last few minutes with , Nathan Jones the main offender , glad to see , Tapscott have a good game ( we’ll coached in cricket at PAC ) and thank you to Daria superb home cooked pizzas a Master Chef appearance awaits !

  2. A great day all round and nice to be interviewed by john harms with my dad at the blacks function. Danny Hansen will be pleased to know that my dad a career academic at the universities of Adelaide Cambridge & now Unsw (at the tender age of 83 seasonally adjusted) is also a port adelaide supporter

    Very pleasing to see Bob Neil voted in the top 10 SA living legends -after receiving official endorsement of the Premier of South Australia Jay Weatherill via his adviser – international engagement

  3. Dom’s eyebrows, aka, the caterpillars will be missed. Really good contested football players with the heart of a lion don’t grow on trees.

    Was at the game and thought that we (Port) did almost everything we could to keep the Dees in it. There were glimpses during the game that the class difference between the teams was easily perceptible, however, Port lacked polish and the Dees made up for a lack of class with fierce desire and a will to run harder than their opponent.

    Thought Nathan Jones was BOG by the straight. He was at nearly every mid-field contest and won 90% of them.

    Surprising to hear about Rulebook jumping on the Dees when they were winning. I thought he had more class.

  4. Good read. Rulebook will follow anything in Red and Blue.

    Big game this week versus the Pies. I wonder how many PHDS will be present at the G.

  5. As Jack Cahill once famously said :-
    “Winning beats the shit out of Losing!”
    Maybe we have discovered our mojo to the extent of winning, albeit by a small margin against an only modestly talented team, and that sniff of victory will be enough to raise the bar again against Collingwood …

  6. “Onward to Victory!!”

  7. Disgraced Former Premier says

    That game was a good as a loss. Here’s hoping for a better performance against the Pies on Sunday (and a good turnout of Melbourne based Blacks alumni).

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