Round 20 – Sydney v Port Adelaide: A sorry swansong for Port at a ground it loathes

Sydney v Port Adelaide

August 6th, 2016

RD 20

SCG, Sydney


Port Adelaide hate playing at the SCG. Fact. Indeed, they don’t much enjoy playing the Swans either. Since Port entered the AFL in 1997 Sydney have been one side that regularly gets it over Port. But there has been the occasional victory.


In 2002 at the SCG Jarred Poulton earned Mayor status for a week at Alberton with his mark and then goal after the siren to put Port over the line. It was an emotional victory for Poulton having lost one of his best mates leading up the game. A clearly emotional Poults spoke on camera afterwards and dedicated his kick, something we all practiced in the back yard as kids to his fallen mate. It was a great moment for a player that worked his butt off as a Port player without ever scaling great heights.


In 1999 Mark Williams took over as Port’s senior coach from John Cahill and took an eager side to Sydney and scored an impressive win with the likes of Nick Stevens and Jarred Schofield starring. And if anyone was in any doubt before the game of what to expect from Williams’ turbulent reign to come, his after-match smash and grab on-field interview with Channel 7 soon put everyone on notice. Classy? No. Passionate? Unquestionably.


In 2013, in a windswept (when wasn’t it) and half-empty Football Park stadium Ken Hinkley’s chargers come back from the dead to roll over the Swans and earn some hard-fought respect. Port backed up the following week and destroyed Collingwood, also in Adelaide to set the Power on the path to their first finals appearance since 2007.


Those three performances were miles away from what Port dished up last Saturday. Insipid and Port Adelaide seem to fit so well together in 2016, and again on Saturday the curse of the SCG struck the Power hard. Justin Westhoff ‘celebrated’ his 200th AFL game for Port enduring some of the laziest, woeful football his team mates could dish up. Port don’t do milestone games too well. Robbie Gray, the Hoff, Josh Carr (the list goes on) have all had milestone games wrecked by lousy team efforts.


On the weekend if I’d wanted to witness shocking skills, a half empty shitty small ground (at least half empty), and try-hard ‘footballers’ try to look like anything other than unfit, lazy, over-adulated bigheads then I would have gone to Adelaide and watched the underwhelming Reclink Community Cup match at Norwood Oval. And at least what money was made goes to a strong and worthwhile charity helping others. The only charity on offer at the SCG on Saturday was Sydney letting Port score anything at all. They surely didn’t even deserve that.


It seems so many Almanac articles this year to do with the Port Adelaide Football Club have had a nostalgia feel – that’s because most of what Port has dished up in 2016 has been uninspiring crap and the only way to warm the cockles this winter has been to delve into the rich history of the PAFC to find something to at least smile about.




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  1. Peter Schumacher says

    It’s simple, Port are not a finals side.

  2. I agree Peter. A long way from a finals side.

  3. I have felt like writing a rant like that about my West Coast Eagles several times this year. Probably explains why I have avoided writing much about footy at all in recent times. Other sports and life issues seem kinder and gentler.
    I rant and scream at them like that when I am at matches, but verbal disparaging is easier to disown on mature reflection. I sort of figure that if I dis’ my Eagles that leaves them (and me) with nowhere else much to go. Freo and Victorian scum would take comfort from my discomfort.
    So I hold back in writing what I’m feeling, but I share your rage. Just wonder where it takes us (and them).

  4. Peter B – Well, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been negative about Port this year.
    Frustrating season but doing it too often does leave us nowhere to go.
    But what else is there..hard to polish a turd!

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