Round 19 – Port Adelaide v Collingwood: BITS and Port young guns star


Ty Fitzgerald and Willem Drew.


Mark these names down for this Boyne Island-Tannum Sands Saints and Port Adelaide Power pair respectively to have elite careers in Aussie Rules. After dominating in the Saints’ under-15s side, Fitzgerald was massive with four goals in the A-grade as the BITS lads did a number on arch cross-town rivals Gladstone Suns (formerly Mudcrabs and usually confused with Suncrabs!).


“I wouldn’t have a clue what I was doing up forward as I never played there before,” he told coach Rick Bean during one of the rotations.


The move came after many quality possessions off a wing and half-back for the young blonde gun before he was moved forward. Now onto a talented red-head in Drew. The hard-nosed midfielder showed an elite ability to be in-and-under at most contests and be in the right place and right time ready to dish off a quick handball to a running teammate. This was best demonstrated in the Power’s hard-earned win against Collingwood.


Most of Port Adelaide Power’s gears were on show against the Magpies at Marvel Stadium on Friday night in Travis Boak’s 300th match. All except the top two gears, in which the Power had the chance to bury the Pies after Peter Ladhams booted the first two goals of the second half. All in all, Port did what it had set out to do and consolidated a spot in the top four with a 14.13 (97) to 10.9 (69) win.


Charlie Dixon (four goals), Todd Marshall (three) and Ladhams (two) gave Collingwood’s defence headaches for the large part while Drew’s rise continued. The young Power midfielder won 32 possessions in a best afield display while Boak and Ollie Wines powered on in dominant second halves with 30 touches each.


There was also the Port Adelaide that started slow as the ‘hosts’ kicked the first two goals of the game. There was the Port that blitzed Collingwood either side of half-time and then there was the Power that lapsed into a false sense of security to allow the Magpies into the game. Then there was the Power that realised it could ill-afford to lose this one. Port found its range of gears to neatly ice the game mid-way into the final quarter.


Aside from the mentioned names for the Power, Riley Bonner played like he’s playing for another contract – firstly against St Kilda and then against the Pies. Bonner, when on song, is an elite kick and he found targets much more often than not, especially Ladhams. The return of Zak Butters, Xavier Duursma and Conner Rozee, who returned after a week off with a leg injury, added class and poise to the side.


Port Adelaide coach Ken Hinkley said his team will only get better, and it needs to given now is the pointy end of the season and spots in the top four and even the top two are up for grabs.


“We go to Charlie a lot when it becomes a contest, but it’s nice to have other players out there and we had Ladhams and Marshall who managed to hit the scoreboard,” he said.


“Mitch (Georgiades) didn’t have the night he would like from a scoreboard point of view, but that’s what happens.


You take your turn and when you’ve got multiple options it’s really hard for the opposition to defend. I think that’s going to be a key part of our team.”


Port take on Greater Western Sydney Giants on Sunday afternoon at a venue yet to be decided – either in Melbourne or on the Gold Coast.



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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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