Round 2 – Sydney v Port Adelaide: Leadership at the core of Port’s impressive SCG victory


Sydney v Port Adelaide

Sunday 1st of April, 2018

SCG, Sydney


Some footballers are born great leaders, while others must work at it. Some end up being better leaders than they ever were as players. Michael Tuck was a solid contributor to Hawthorn for years as a player but was almost irreplaceable as captain. Gavin Wanganeen was a brilliant footballer but shy and reserved as leader, preferring to let his football deeds dictate his enormous legacy. Some are both.


At half-time at the SCG yesterday, with Port Adelaide struggling but by no means out of the contest against Sydney, Travis Boak took it upon himself to will his side to victory with a fantastic second-half of football, showing tremendous leadership. He was ably assisted by vice-captain Ollie Wines; hard, fearless and Port Adelaide’s future captain. Two leaders willing Port Adelaide to victory in hostile territory, against a club Port have struggled with more often than not. Two young men, one at the peak of his powers and the other with years of inspirational football ahead of him – combining to drag Port Adelaide over the line and then some.


Port’s victory yesterday was significant. Two wins from two starts is always a blessed way to start a season, but it was the way they did it and how it happened that should give Port Adelaide supporters the most heart. Boak is not Port’s best player; Wines may be. But Boak is Port’s best leader. The best leader of men, the best leader by example at Alberton. His value to the side cannot be measured by mere possessions alone. It’s his deeds, his selfless acts of brilliance that make him so. He started Port’s second half dominance with the first two goals of the third quarter. His run, relentless desire to crash packs and do the usually unheralded pressure acts that wins matches, not ample stats, the catalyst for a seven-goal quarter that hurt Sydney’s psyche, and hurt Sydney on the scoreboard.


Wines was great from the start. But it was he and Boak’s maturity, their desire and knowing which buttons to push at half-time that propelled Port to one of their finest victories in four years. Leadership. You can’t manufacture it nor  fake it. Leaders do the right things at the right moments. They have the ability to sense a moment, and make it count. And they inspire. At the SCG yesterday Boak and Wines were inspirational. And they inspired their team mates to a win that may take on even more significance as the season progresses.


And leaving aside yesterday’s on-field greatness for just one moment, has Port Adelaide ever had a captain and vice-captain who represent the Port Adelaide Football Club so well off the field as well? Well spoken, classy and understated and Port Adelaide to the core regardless of their Victorian roots.


Leaders make us want to be better players, and even better people. In Boak and Wines Port Adelaide have two absolute gems.


SYDNEY                2.4   6.6   8.10   10.11 (71)
PORT ADELAIDE  1.2    4.4   11.7   14.10 (94)

Sydney: Franklin 4, Parker, Hayward, Papley, Cunningham, Heeney, Towers
Port Adelaide: Marshall 3, Boak 2, Wingard 2, Polec 2, Wines, Powell-Pepper, Motlop, R.Gray, Bonner

Sydney: Kennedy, Franklin, Parker, McVeigh, Smith, Florent
Port Adelaide: Wines, R.Gray, Marshall, Dixon, Westhoff, Boak

Crowd: 34,636


Chris Michaels

Twitter – @chrismwriter



  1. Boak & Wines or Smith & Warner?

  2. Keiran Croker says

    Port are building a good team. I’d add Ebert to that strong leadership.

Leave a Comment