Round 12 – Port Adelaide v Richmond: Port’s defence leading the way in their quest for flag glory

Port Adelaide v Richmond
June 8th, 2018
RD 12
Adelaide Oval, Adelaide


It only took 15 minutes of feverish football last Friday night for Port Adelaide to put away a Richmond side missing Dusty Martin, and any real oomph in their performance. Port’s dominance was breathtaking and belied the negative ‘pretenders or contenders’ talk before the game. Port’s second quarter, and the 15 minutes late in that quarter sent a strong message that the Power, with a game in hand on the rest of the competition were set to make a significant run towards the top four come August.


Port’s draw opens up now for them, with the next two games at Adelaide Oval and a run of games against more than beatable opposition.


The tale of Friday night was that 15 minutes, and a terrific four quarter effort by a young defence that gets no real credit much of the time but performs at such a high-level week in, week out. Take Darcy Byrne-Jones, Hyphen to his admirers. Consistent, strong, great mark and reads the ball well, yet few would know him if he was ordering a coffee in front of you at your favourite coffee shop. But his value to Port this season has been immense.


Tom Clurey the same. He has a great strong mark, is quick and has taken on and beaten big names in 2018 but continues to shine. Dougal Howard – the leader at Port currently for second efforts and pressure acts, and from a youngster as well. You expect that from a 150 gamer, but not a rookie who has played less than 20 games. It lifts those around him. Tom Jonas another who consistently takes on and beats the best forwards in the competition but gets no real kudos outside of Alberton. He must be close to AA selection at the halfway mark of the season.


These are the guys who have driven Port forward so often this season, and held firm when Port’s talented midfield fail to fire. Against Sydney in Sydney earlier in the year they were awesome, holding out Buddy and co to help secure a vital away win.


Against Richmond on Friday night they again gave Richmond’s potent forward line only the occasional scraps. A firm defence, and a forward line that kicks goals rather than burns them will be telling during the finals. Port have the basis now for a finals thrust that won’t just rely on Wingard (who was great after a poor month) and Robbie Gray, who again showed class and skill and trickery that half the AFL comp would die for.


Ken Hinkley, Port’s enigmatic coach knows that a strong backline, where they run and carry and support each other will provide the solid base he needs to fine-tune a team now with all in front of them and everything to play for at the mid-point of an even, intriguing season.



Twitter – @chrismwriter


  1. Add in Dan Houston. Does a job each week and has great hands over head. Like you, I thought the back 6 really stood out in this match. Jasper Pittard actually looked solid, too! I like when he concentrates on defence first rather than attack.

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