Round 15 – Port Adelaide v Sydney: A-Mayes-ing win in birthday twin wins


The rain came and came in what was a dreary trip to Rockhampton in readiness for my son Seth’s U17s game against Rockhampton Panthers at the RCG (Rockhampton Cricket Ground).


“This is the wettest day I’ve seen for an AFL game up here,” I said to myself as we trudged in the carpark mud to the ground.


I did my preliminary things as the A-grade team manager duties with a fine tooth comb. A birthday dinner with the family was planned in Gladstone later in the evening and so I wasn’t to be present for the main game – Panthers v BITS Saints.


Sadly the Saints’ U17s went down narrowly but later in the day, I followed the AFL Capricornia Game Day app and happily saw the ‘progressive score’ updates in real time as the Saints marched over the Panthers by the best part of nine goals in the mud and wet. It pretty much guarantees the BITS Saints a top four spot and elimination finals berth, but with some challenges still ahead. It’s a start at least, and I’ll be back as TM for the home clash against Glenmore Bulls on July 10.


Now for what was to happen later in the evening as I ate my way through a large serving of Seafood Basket at Gladstone’s Precinct Hotel.


Travis Boak had seven touches to half-time and was well-tagged by Sydney Swans’ stopper George Hewett. But gun Port Adelaide Power midfielder Boak finished with 30 touches while medical sub Sam Mayes effectively booted the winning goal after the brilliant Lance Buddy Franklin had put the Swans ahead at a damp Adelaide Oval on Saturday night.


Hulking Power ruckman Scott Lycett slotted the final goal of the game from a standing start as the hosts leapfrogged the Geelong Cats into fourth spot in a thrilling 12.9 (81) to 10.11 (71) win. Port Adelaide did lead by 15 points at three-quarter-time and looked home and hosed. However, enter Buddy.


He booted three goals, which included a superb sliding goal when he warded off ex-team-mate Aliir Aliir to put the Swans in it. The emerging Todd Marshall marked strongly to give Port some breathing space before Buddy’s brace of majors made the home crowd nervous with anxiety. The Power then showed the fabric in which coach Ken Hinkley wants his team to build on from to become a great one.


Dan Houston marked in ‘unknown territory’ that led to the Mayes major and the Port side had several who starred in the fierce contest against a side that will feature in the finals.


Ollie Wines did his Brownlow Medal chances no harm with another dominant display in midfield and Charlie Dixon played further up the field to take some strong marks. His two goals were crucial as well.


Willem Drew was arguably Port’s most consistent four-quarter player and he had eight tackles and clearances. Miles Bergman impressed again with his clean ball handling on a wing and Karl Amon continued his great season.


There are a couple of injury concerns with Trent McKenzie, who damaged a shoulder after he and the impressive Will Hayward collided while both going for the ball. Dixon also was hobbling after hurting an ankle but both players will be assessed during the week.


Boak said the side showed character and that it was ‘about time’ that Port beat a quality and likely finals-bound team.


“We haven‘t beaten a top eight side this year I don’t think,” he told Fox Footy post-game.


“We knew the pressure was on us and that it was going to be a great battle.”


Boak had 12 possessions in the championship quarter, and he kicked a crucial goal. His efforts earned the praise of Melbourne Demon great Garry Lyon.


“Champion. That’s what champions do,” he said.


“They‘re never down for a whole game. They look at a disappointing half and go right I’ll fix it … that’s why he’s one of the most admired players in the competition.”


Hinkley commended his team’s ability to stick to the process when challenged by a Buddy-inspired Swans.


“There’s no doubt it was slipping away a little and that was the quality of the opposition… but I thought our resilience was remarkable,” Hinkley said after the game.


“We’ve had an attitude to a squad mentality and right now we’re stretching and testing that out a bit.


“There was an opportunity out there to not keep at it but to our boys’ credit they did keep at it.


“We’re 10-4 and I’m remarkably proud of the resilience of the team and the group that got tested all the way through and got the job done.


“When they got a bit of momentum in the last quarter, our blokes found a way to get back to the front and win the game, and that was important.”


Port meet Hawthorn at the MCG this Saturday night that will also mark 400 AFL games (for Hawthorn and Port) for ex-Power premiership player Shaun Burgoyne.



PORT ADELAIDE    4.3   7.4   10.6    12.9 (81)

SYDNEY                  5.3   6.6    7.9     10.11 (71)



Port Adelaide: Dixon 2, Marshall, Rozee, Farrell, Powell-Pepper, Houston, Boak, Bergman, Marshall, Mayes, Lycett

Sydney: Franklin 4, Papley 2, Hayward 2, Gulden, Parker



Port Adelaide: Boak, Wines, Dixon, Houston, Bergman

Sydney: Franklin, Mills, Parker, Hayward, Papley 



Port Adelaide: Hartlett (hip flexor) replaced in selected side by Frederick, McKenzie (shoulder)

Sydney: Nil      



Port Adelaide: Sam Mayes (replaced McKenzie)     

Sydney: Nick Blakey (unused)



Port Adelaide: Nil

Sydney: Franklin (reported for dangerous front-on contact with Lienert)



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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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