Round 3 – West Coast v Port Adelaide: A Nic Nat tapping extravaganza



West Coast v Port Adelaide

5:10pm, Saturday April 3

Perth Stadium




I never felt easy about this game.



Taking it easy playing the West Coast Eagles in Perth is what my passion, Port Adelaide Power, took out west.



In continuing with my musical lyrics theme, Port were simply way out west and way out of it from the get go.



Port Adelaide went to the west with pleasant 2019 memories of a Good Friday ‘chaos ball’ thrashing of West Coast.



On Easter Saturday, the result was reversed as West Coast played its plan to perfection in a first-half demolition against fellow premiership contender, Port.



In front of more than 40,000 passionate fans, the Eagles did it easy in a 16.12 (108) to 11.5 (71) win.



Port Adelaide were never in it from the get-go as Nic Naitanui put on a masterclass tap-rucking display; his follow-up work was a treat against ex-teammate Scott Lycett.



The Coasters’ midfielders feasted and Port’s nemesis Luke Shuey was in the thick of it in his return to AFL after soft tissue injuries.



Sadly for Shuey, he re-injured a hamstring late in the game but not before he, and fellow onballers Tim Kelly and returned-to-form Andrew Gaff thrashed Port’s midfield brigade of Ollie Wines, Tavis Boak and Zak Butters.



The latter trio lifted in the second half but the other main difference in the game was the form of key forwards: Josh Kennedy kicked four goals and Jack Darling three for the Eagles.



Oscar Allen also had his moments up forward and in ruck for West Coast.



Liam Ryan, along with Dustin Martin and Buddy Franklin would be in the league’s top-three for ‘excitement machines.’



‘Flying Ryan’s’ hanger when he stepped on Power defender Darcy Byrne-Jones’ head to pull down a mark, on his way down, surely almost guarantees him a new car for ‘Mark of the Year’. If you missed it, you can see it HERE via Fox Sports.



Defensive pillars Jeremy McGovern (11 marks) and Tom Barrass were superb and the plan to stop Charlie Dixon was engineered to perfection after Dixon’s six-goal haul in round four last year in Queensland.



Best for Port Adelaide were Xavier Duursma and Dan Houston while young key forwards Mitch Georgiades (two goals) and Todd Marshall (three) provided second-half sparks.



Power coach Ken Hinkley kept the faith in his post-game presser.



‘They played the game they wanted to play in the first half really successfully,’ he told FOXSports HERE.



‘They brought real hunt to the contest…we were beaten badly around the contest in all areas of the game.’



The coach said his side ‘fought it out in the second half’.



Hinkley is already casting his eye on this Friday night’s ‘redemption match’ against reigning back-to-back premiers Richmond who were shock losers to Sydney Swans on Easter Saturday.



‘Last year (against Richmond) we had two cracking games and I reckon it will be something similar.’



It’s all about the response and just like the Tigers, Port Adelaide will have plenty of motivation to at least erase some pain from last year’s home preliminary final heartache.



I just hope Hamish Hartlett stays off Twitter this time and is no way near the boundary line and Port under a goal ahead…oh, and with Dusty far, far away!





WEST COAST                             5.4   10.7   13.8   16.12 (108)
PORT ADELAIDE                     1.1   2.3   6.3   11.5 (71)




West Coast: Kennedy 4, Darling 3, Cripps, Ryan 2, Allen, Brander, Kelly, Petruccelle, Sheed
Port Adelaide: Gray, Marshall 3, Fantasia, Georgiades 2, Drew


West Coast: Shuey, Gaff, Kennedy, Naitanui, Kelly, McGovern, Redden
Port Adelaide: Duursma, Houston, Boak, Byrne-Jones, Georgiades


Crowd: 42,090





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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,


  1. Good match summary Nick. Port were my flag pick but I now have strong doubts. Your midfield was pretty insipid on Saturday night. Boak, Wines, Gray, Motlop and Butters all wanted to play bruise free footy and got monstered by our mids (who are strong but not quick). Lycett was honest and got his hand to the ball but none of the taps to advantage of Nic Nait.
    I’d be very critical of Hinkley and the coaches match plan. Nic’s dominance was predictable so why not man up at the centre bounces? Gaff was allowed to run free all night.
    Gave my Eagles no respect and Port got what they deserved. Got ahead of themselves?

  2. Hi Nick, I only saw the last half and with my crook eyesight, couldn’t read the scoreboard. Port seemed to be in chargewith eagles appearing to tire. When I finally got around to seeing the scores, I couldn’t believe it. I had to assume it was a way different Eagles in the first half. Being a Crows fan I was delighted with a West Coast win. Very impressed with the rucking of Nic Nac and his palming of the ball and his follow up play. Some very interesting games this round with many “experts” having egg on their faces – great to see.

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