Round 21 – Hawthorn v Port Adelaide: Port beat Hawthorn for the Second time in 2015… Clarkson disappoints by not flogging a random fan

Hawthorn v Port Adelaide

August 21st, 2015

RD 21

Etihad Stadium, Melbourne

 

With Port Adelaide’s late charge towards an unlikely finals appearance in 2015 is now officially over, there will be no real comfort to be had in knowing that twice this year, a year that promised much but delivered little, Port has knocked off last year’s premiers Hawthorn. And each time done it in style.

 

On Friday night in Melbourne, Port produced one of their most complete performances for the year, beating a Hawthorn side seemingly blindsided by Port’s high-risk, high-intensity approach, in a game that many suggested didn’t mean much to the club. (When does a game ever mean nothing? In 33 years of going to football matches I can’t remember one.)

 

In front of a below average Hawthorn home-game crowd (70,000+ members folks – where were they?) Port blitzed the Hawks with free-flowing attacking football. They took risks, supported each other and consigned the Hawks to a dogfight for a top two finish in the run-in to the finals. This was a sweet victory. Earlier in the year Port’s first quarter at Adelaide Oval was their best for the year, but on Friday night at Etihad Stadium it was a true four quarter effort. Even when Hawthorn snatched back some momentum late in the third quarter, the writing was on the wall that Port would still triumph such was their attitude from the opening stanza.

 

In fact Port should have won by more. The reality is Port were hungrier, more in tune with the game and created more opportunities in front of goal; wayward kicking keeping Hawthorn closer than they deserved.

 

Robbie Gray, a beacon for Port was superb from the start, and his namesake of no relation Sam equally effective. Gus Monfries was fired up – getting dropped tends to concentrate the mind – attacking ball and body with gusto and aplomb, and hitting the scoreboard. Chad Wingard, a certainty for an All-Australian place showed why he is the most dangerous and sensational small-forward in the AFL with a 10 minute burst in the third quarter after Mr Misplaced aggression read biggest protected species since the Hawaiian Monk Seal (Luke Hodge) tried to insert Wingard into a point post. Wingard’s response, apart from threatening to re-insert said goal post into Hodge was to boot a couple of magical six-pointers and deflate the brown and gold.

 

Neade, Ryder (so maligned but perhaps now will settle into a full-time ruck role), Boak, Pittard, Hombsch, AhChee were all terrific. Port kicked goals, held Hawthorn defensively and never looked like losing.

 

One season, two victories over everyone’s favourite second team and premiership favourites the Hawks. Port will look back on 2015 with some regret, but should also take the year as an aberration, and consider the positives. Polec and White back and playing more football in 2016. Lobbe to improve on his 2015 form, Ryder to take main rucking duties. Bobby C back in defence, Wines playing a whole season. A slightly easier draw, if there is such a thing.  Less self-congratulating before the season starts next year. Ken Hinkley drawing on his experiences this year to help shape him as a better coach in 2016, after a poor coaching effort in 2015.

 

CHRIS MICHAELS

 

@cargoartmag

Comments

  1. Rick Kane says:

    That about sums it up … PA, such a fast team, they ran rings around us.

    Cheers

  2. CaballoViejo says:

    Hawthorn “everyone’s favourite second team”? That was a joke, right?

  3. Pretty much a joke..although getting real sick of people like Cameron Ling idolising Hawthorn from the Ch 7 commentary box.

  4. Dan Hansen says:

    Agreed. Ling talking Port down all night and praising Hawthorn’s superior skills was nauseating. Then there was the “not much in it” from the “Hodge is a good bloke” brigade to top it off.

    Give Lingy a raincoat and an all weather microphone and send him back to the boundary line.

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