AFL Round 9 – Port Adelaide v Geelong: True Believers

 By John Proeve

In the traditional Saturday afternoon time slot Geelong come to AAMI stadium to play the Power. Geelong has been travelling well despite its first loss of the season in the previous round to Collingwood. Port desperately wants another win after a three week losing streak.  Geelong commands a strong psychological advantage over Port; nine consecutive wins since the abysmal Port showing in the 2007 Grand Final. As the game is about to start our usual quartet of Matt, Delton, Brian and John is diminished as Matt is staying home to watch the telecast and Brian has phoned to say he is still on his way.

Chad Wingard and Steven Motlop toss the coin as part of The Indigenous Round. Geelong win the toss –Is this an ominous sign? – They won the 2007 Grand Final toss.

Wingard has been a real find for Port. He has shown maturity beyond his years and been in consistent form over the first eight rounds. He hails from my teenage year’s home town, Murray Bridge.  A number of great footballers from the local River Murray Football League competition have made their mark in the SANFL and AFL.

The early signs don’t look good for Port as Steve Johnson with time and space picks out players in the forward 50 at will.  Geelong’s midfield of Bartel, Corey and Selwood have noticeably one grab pickups and associated extra time with the ball compared to their Port counterparts. Geelong continues the rout of Port and goes to the quarter time break with a 39 point lead. This is becoming all too customary for Port in 2013. Giving teams a huge start in the first quarter.  The umpires have been under heavy scrutiny and been copping a caning from the crowd. Lucky for them that Brian arrived late!

After the break the game falls a little flat until Schultz finally adds some class with a set shot at the halfway mark of the quarter to post Ports first goal. Rare ill-discipline by Enright gave Monfries a 50m penalty and back to back goals for Port. Butcher, making his first appearance for 2013, struggling to handle to pressure of the big stage, kicks another set shot for goal out of bounds on the full. Port regained composure and managed to find more of the ball and keep some possession but the finishing skills of Geelong forward of centre is the clear difference between the teams.

At half time the discussions are around best players so far with Johnson, Enright, Bartel and Taylor playing well for Geelong and Wingard and Gray amongst the best for Port. The rating for the umpires’ performance is censored! Despite the scoreboard we continue to have faith in the players and hope that they can turn things around in the second half. Eager to urge on the Power, Delton buys a Port Power cap and dons it on his head. This showed a lot of commitment to the Port cause for an otherwise ardent Crows fan!

Would Port Adelaide come out after half time with the same resolve?

The third quarter play mirrors the second with both teams getting plenty of the ball but Geelong’s pressure across half back makes it difficult for Port. At the other end Geelong are able to find targets and take marks inside their forward 50.

Tom Hawkins has 6 to three quarter time and Geelong furthered their lead 15.6 to 4.10. The clear difference being the Cats’ ability to take marks in both forward and defensive 50 due to classy finishing skills of their midfielders; sadly it is otherwise for Port. A telling point is Port only managed to kick 1 goal 8 to the Northern end for the game.

The final quarter is played at lower intensity with Selwood subbed off for the Cats and Hawkins unable to improve on his 6 goals. Steven Johnson and Steven Motlop again prove their skills in a quarter where others were less effective with the ball. As the Cats took their foot off the pedal Port scored some consolatory goals. All up Geelong were too good on the day!

As we walked out on the AAMI turf after the final siren Delton, wearing his newly purchased Power cap mused, ‘It would have been great to have played on this ground’.

Next home game I will buy a cap as I am also a true believer – after all ‘We are Port Adelaide’!

 

GEELONG                          7.1   10.4   15.6  18.8      (116)
PORT ADELAIDE              0.4   3.6     4.10   9.14     (68)

GOALS
Geelong:
 Hawkins 6, Podsiadly 4, Motlop 2, Schroeder 2, Johnson, Bartel, Burbury, Thurlow
Port Adelaide: Thomas 2, Mitchell 2, Schulz 2, Redden, Monfries

BEST
Geelong:
 Johnson, Bartel, Hawkins, Enright, Motlop, Blicavs, Taylor
Port Adelaide: Gray, Wingard, Redden, Boak, Wines

Umpires: Dalgleish, Fleer, Mollison

Official crowd:
 21,309 at AAMI Stadium

Our Votes: 3 Johnson (G) 2 Enright (G) 1 Motlop (G)

Comments

  1. JMP, you are such a footy person (among other things). This is a footy person’s eye at work:

    Geelong’s midfield of Bartel, Corey and Selwood have noticeably one grab pickups and associated extra time with the ball compared to their Port counterparts.

  2. Dan Crane says:

    Nice read John – I agree the footy park turf was so nice to walk on, so soft, like a dream fairway…..wouldn’t mind some it for my labrador-influenced back yard :)

  3. Kerry Smith says:

    Hi John
    “All up Geelong were too good on the day.” Thanks for taking the sting out of it so gently for us ” true believers” who were there to see it unfold. Geelong were awesome but I am hoping we saw a glimpse of what our future could look like as the Hinkley era unfolds.
    Kind Regards
    Kerry Smith

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