AFL Round 21 – Port Adelaide v Gold Goast: Not quite there

By Dan Hansen


The equation was pretty simple; Port beat the continually improving Gold Coast, Geelong beat an injury riddled Eagles and Richmond beat Carlton. If all this happens then Port are in the finals for the first time since 2007. Other than a good win against Collingwood the Suns form for the last two months has not been impressive. They seem to play two or three good quarters a game but have trouble putting a four quarter effort together. I’m sure if we play at our best we should beat the Suns.


Richmond were the giant killers last week. They locked in their spot in the eight with a comprehensive win against Hawthorn. Whereas their opponents Carlton needed to beat the Western Bulldogs to remain legitimate finals contenders but played like they bunch of negligee wearing teenage girls having a boarding house pillow fight. I was fairly confident Richmond would push hard for a spot in the top four and easily account for Carlton.


My big worry was West Coast versus Geelong. West Coast are always hard to beat at Subiaco and brushed aside Essendon at the Docklands the week before. Geelong’s form in the last two months has been up and down, they were resting Tom Hawkins and have a tendency to “manage players” leading into finals at the expense of results. Also West Coast beat Geelong at Subiaco about this time last year. However in the end it wasn’t Geelong I had to worry about as they apparently they had the Eagles under control without ever leaving second gear.


Once again I was off to the Royal Exhibition Hotel in Surry Hills to watch the game with the New South Wales Port Adelaide supporter group. The game itself was a typical Port Adelaide affair. Port scored the opening four goals with relative ease. Our good players, ie, Boak, Schulz, Monfries and Wingard were playing well and Cornes was keeping Abblet quiet. It looked like Port could have a comfortable win and we could all enjoy a stress-free afternoon with a few quiet ales. Added to this we could see on the other television that Richmond were well ahead of Carlton. But in recent years life for a Pot supporter is never that satisfying. From late in the first quarter not only did the Gold Coast fight back but started to play the better football. Bennell was setting up attacking moves and reading the ball in the air better than our defenders. O’Meara seemed to have poise and time and looked dangerous with every possession and Ablett started to break his shackles. There was also a guy wearing red socks called Boston who was a constant threat up forward. A late goal to O’Meara and at three quarter time the Gold Coast were nine points up.


News comes through that Carlton had just beaten Richmond and with Port’s finals hopes on the line Boak steps up again. Instrumental in many clearances Boak lifts the team. Wingard wins a few fifity-fifties early and kicks two goals to give Port back the lead. The next fifteen minutes is an arm wrestle. Bennell is still a constant danger up forward and Monfries is crucial in winning contested ball on the half back line allowing Port to get the ball out of defence. A goal to Boak puts Port ten points up with 6 minutes to go. Boak wins the next clearance wand it ends up with Schulz marking thirty five out and then … click, some imbecile stands up and turns off the TV and then sit back down.


Now being a boy who grew up playing district football in the north western suburbs of Adelaide I knew this sort of antagonism should not taken meekly. I immediately walk over to the fool and from a few inches away say “Mate, you are a dead set fucken moron”. There is a lot of name calling but most of his friends are embarrassed by his stupidity. He refused to stand up as he feared the consequences, whilst a friend of his stood by clenching a schooner glass in his right fist. Word spreads to the manager and the guy is asked to leave where he sheepishly walks out of the pub.


We settle back down and watch the last few minutes and are relieved when Port claim the four points. I then get a text message from a Carlton supporting friend saying “My sincere thanks for trading Chaplin to the Tigers. I think he was the difference between the two teams today”. I watched the game the next day and he was right, Chaplin was at his terrible best. Some of his spoiling attempts were insipid. I was never a fan of Chaplin when he played for Port. He was always one of the first to throw in the towel and cost us many close games. I particularly remember one cliff hanger at the Gabba in 2011 where he shirked a marking contest which gave Luke Power the winning goal. I hold him high on my list of people to blame for Port missing the finals in the last five years. If we miss the finals again I’ll blame him for the sixth year.


Forgiveness is for the divine. It’s definitely not part of the makeup of an avid football fan.



PORT ADELAIDE   7.5   8.9   10.13   16.17   (113)

GOLD COAST         3.5   6.8   12.10   14.12    (96)



Port Adelaide: Boak, Schulz 3, Westhoff, Wingard, Heath 2, Ebert, Young, Moore, Cornes

Gold Coast: Boston, Bennell 3, Stanley 2, Dixon, Gorringe, Hall, Hutchins, O’Meara, Sumner



Port Adelaide: Boak, Monfries, Wingard, Broadbent, Ebert, Cornes

Gold Coast: Bennell, Gorringe, Stanley, Ablett, O’Meara, Boston


Umpires: Dalgelish, Leppard, Meredith


Official crowd: 18,703



Our Votes: 3. Boak (PA), 2. Bennell (GC), 1. Monfries (PA)


  1. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Good write up Dan as for the Idiot who turned the TV off must have Essendon connections that’s where the world of stupidity seems to start . Chaplin is a fair dinkum stinker which Richmond got done over big time when no 1 else wanted him they fell for the Managers trick He is hot Property ! yeah right wouldn’t get a game for Ad Uni SCUM Team

  2. Dan Hansen says

    I think the guy that turned off the TV may have been Troy Chaplin’s brother. He certainly showed as much courage.

  3. Biduvar Koksarker says

    Great write up again Dan, love the MLB reference and your ridiculing of the idiot who should share my name

  4. Sniffer the Greek Kangaroo says

    Great write up Dan and I am surprised you being a nice Western Suburbs boy that the
    Moron who turned off the TV escaped alive and I totally concur re Chaplin we would not have won against Collingwood if ha had still been at Port

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