Round 11 – Port Adelaide v Fremantle: Power deliver top-class bookend quarters

 

It was a weekend of two halves.

 

Saturday started with a trip to Stenlake Oval in Rockhampton where the second-placed Glenmore Bulls hosted my club in the BITS Saints. Nursing a sore hip from a basketball match, I hobbled around doing my A-grade team manager duties for the Saints.

 

“Not another guernsey number change,” I said to myself as a couple late changes had me crossing out a few numbers and replacing these with the ‘spares’ that I had written down and then crossed off.

 

“That should do it,” I said as the guernsey numbers were met with satisfaction from all the A-grade players, almost half of whom had already played in the seconds and even the under-17s.

 

It’s a different playing field up here in the Queensland Capricornia Region. Work is primarily industry-based and shift work. Two days of day shift followed by two of 12-hour nights at the BSL Rio Tinto Smelter, or Yarwin refinery or Queensland Aluminia Limited, is the norm. Hence players are not continually available for games week in and out.

 

Yeppoon Swans, the world record beaters of the most games won by an AFL club, have the bulk of their players as Monday to Friday workers. It’s a different working space in Yeppoon with most players working for a former coach’s business. But some are teachers and that’s a M-F. Speaking of which, yours truly is elated in scoring a full-time gig and all the walking around as team manager helped ‘free up’ a bruised and corked hip.

 

Sadly the Saints were belted by 105 points against the Bulls and the same margin looked like looming for Port Adelaide’s opponents in the Fremantle Dockers. A sublime first-quarter goal-fest from Port Adelaide was key in a 46-point win against a slow-starting Fremantle Dockers at Adelaide Oval.

 

Karl Amon had 16 possessions in a dynamic Port first quarter in which the hosts led by 40 points. The Power’s best quarters were obviously its first and final quarters, in which that term was highlighted by an Amon long bomb as the hosts ran away 18.7 (115) to 9.15 (69).

 

Sam Powell-Pepper booted two goals while Charlie Dixon (three goals) started in the ruck but finished with a brace of majors at the first change. 1988 Brownlow Medallist and Fox Sports commentator Gerard Healy said it was a total blitz early.

 

“In four minutes, Port Adelaide have kicked 3.1 and Fremantle have touched the ball on three occasions,” Healy said.

 

“This is a shellacking of the highest order and if it keeps going like this they’re going to have an increase of percentage by about 15.”

 

However, the Dockers lifted in intensity, and had to, in the second quarter as captain Nat Fyfe and young guns Adam Cerra and Caleb Serong were the main men.

 

It was somewhat of a Jekyll and Hyde summation from the first quarter to the second and the first half of the third quarter as Freo more than halved its deficit from 50 to 21. Port’s Kane Farrell did boot a 50-plus-metre barrel in the Power’s only real highlight for the second term. Freo booted six majors in that second stanza.

 

But Port Adelaide coach Ken Hinkley wants his team to become a great one, and goals to the mercurial Robbie Gray 50-seconds into the third quarter and a bouncing long-range shot by improving ruck-forward Peter Ladhams, kept the Dockers at arm’s length.

 

The final quarter was a step in the right direction for Hinkley and the club’s ‘greatness’ ambitions as Todd Marshall got valuable touches and finished with two goals. Port bull Ollie Wines was best afield in a brilliant display in the midfield, Dixon played his best game for the season and is building to a strong second half, explosive halfback Lachie Jones was supreme, Ladhams had game figures of a midfielder in ruck, while Dan Houston and the evergreen Travis Boak won important touches.

 

The Power will enjoy the bye this weekend before hosting a Thursday night top-four deciding blockbuster against fourth-placed Geelong Cats on May 10.

 

 

PORT ADELAIDE    7.5     12.5       14.5     18.7 (115)

FREMANTLE           0.7     6.10       8.13     9.15 (69)

 

GOALS 

Port Adelaide: Dixon 3, Powell-Pepper 3, Ladhams 2, Fantasia 2, Gray 2, Marshall 2, Farrell, Georgiades, Bergman, Amon

Fremantle: Fyfe 2, Colyer, Crowden, Henry, Lobb, Mundy, Schultz, Walters

 

BEST 

Port Adelaide: Dixon, Wines, Boak, Amon, Houston, Powell-Pepper

Fremantle: Cerra, Brayshaw, Ryan, Aish, Lobb, Fyfe

 

INJURIES  

Port Adelaide: Burton (knee)

Fremantle: Switkowski (hamstring)

 

SUBSTITUTES 

Port Adelaide: Bergman (replaced Burton)

Fremantle: Blakely (replaced Switkowski)

 

CHANGES

Port Adelaide: Nil

Fremantle: Logue replaced in selected side by Duman

 

 

 

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About Nicholas Kossatch

Tall and intelligent and athletically built who calls a spade a spade. Love sports writing and sending letters and texts to the editor about AFL and the Port Adelaide Power - win, lose or draw. I do not sit on the fence. Soon to be 40! I play basketball and over 35's supers football. Have played amateur footy and a bit of cricket and basketball when living in Adelaide. Do some writing for the Murray Pioneer,

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