Round 17 – North Melbourne v Port Adelaide: Port grapples with history as North falters again

North Melbourne v Port Adelaide

July 16th, 2016

RD 17

Etihad Stadium, Melbourne


Port Adelaide’s chance at redeeming something from season 2016 took a further step forward on Saturday afternoon in Melbourne against a Kangaroos side with everything to play for and much to lose. In the end it was Port which grabbed the initiative and came away with one foot still planted inside the top eight. Well, an imaginary toe perhaps, but the season is still faintly alive.


And it’s alive because even though Port have dropped important games this year against Fremantle and Carlton, and had narrow losses to Hawthorn and the Bulldogs, they have put together a reasonable run of form over the last six weeks. Dropping games to Fremantle and Carlton may still prove fatal come the end of the minor round though. But Port still only sit three games off fourth position, such is the tightness for positions in the top eight. That’s remarkable considering Greater Western Sydney sit in fourth and according to all and sundry have had a great, coming-of-age season. To only be three games away should give Port hope, but also comes with a fair amount of frustration.


On Saturday Port produced their finest performance for the year beating a team that never fails to disappoint at this time of year. North had won their first nine games and sat on top of the ladder, to be caught. Caught they have been. Their finals hopes are now in serious jeopardy. Port started the match with six straight goals and ended 28 point winners. The margin should have been far greater.


Port’s pressure tackling, a highlight this year, was terrific, and hassled North into errors and turnovers. For once, Port were efficient in attack and scored quickly, even without a huge impact by key forward Charlie Dixon. An ankle injury curtailed his influence.


Port’s assignment next week against GWS won’t be easy, but they are in a better position form-wise than earlier in the year when GWS gave them a belting in Sydney. Adelaide Oval, and Port’s desire to make finals may sway the ledger this time.




FAlmanac banner sq

Leave a Comment