Round 4 – Port Adelaide v Richmond: Port make a point(s) against the champs

Port Adelaide v Richmond

7:20pm, Friday April 9

Adelaide Oval

 

 

 

It was almost deja vu for the wayward-kicking-for-goal Port Adelaide Power when Robbie Gray handballed through a rushed behind.

 

 

I felt sick at that exact moment after what had been a tough day for me at work…but that was another story.

 

 

Hearts were in Power fans’ mouths but thanks to the ruling that the handball was done inside the goal square and under pressure from a probing Richmond forward line, the moment came to pass without incident.

 

 

Just minutes earlier, Gray had booted the match-winning goal as an injury-riddled Port held on for a magnificent 11.13 (79) to 11.11 (77) win at Adelaide Oval.

 

 

Last year’s bitter Kane Lambert-induced heartaches were somewhat erased after Lambert had goaled to put the 2017, 2019 and 2020 premiers ahead before Gray’s heroic mark and goal against Jayden Short

 

 

Port’s young gun trio of Zak Butters (subbed off with an ankle injury), Connor Rozee (two goals and a corkie), Orazio Fantasia (ankle), Tom Clurey (corkie), captain Tom Jonas (corkie) and star Sydney Swans recruit Aliir Aliir (head clash), all laboured but all had key moments.

 

 

Rozee pounced on a Richmond turnover and evaded a desperate Tiger defender to kick his second major in the third quarter.

 

 

The worst of the injuries was to youngster Xavier Duursma who suffered a knee injury late in the game after arguably a best-on-ground performance.

 

 

Power coach Ken Hinkley said Duursma’s injury may not be as bad as first feared.

 

 

‘There was a bit going on out there in the carnage. There’ll be a couple we need to assess, so I can’t give you updates,’ Hinkley told AFL.com.au on Saturday – see more HERE.

 

 

‘Without being too optimistic, we’re positive [Duursma] might not be the worst case with a knee injury, and we all know what that is, an ACL. It doesn’t mean it’s not, but at this stage, there’s some optimism around that, because they do some tests initially.’

 

 

Port’s midfield of Ollie Wines, Travis Boak and Butters were brilliant as was ruckman Scott Lycett who had an enticing duel with Toby Nankervis.

 

 

Karl Amon and Dan Houston hardly wasted a possession while Hamish Hartlett slowly found his touch and booted a towering 65-metre goal in the third quarter that gave the hosts impetus heading into the final term.

 

 

Steven Motlop’s two goals were most important; he’s continuing with a most consistent season.

 

 

Motlop’s Port Adelaide teammate Ryan Burton played his best game this season off half-back while debutant Lachie Jones celebrated his 19th birthday in style with a most impressive effort.

 

 

He’s obtained a cult following with moustache and flowing mullet and aside from a couple rushed kicks, the Woodville-West Torrens 2020 premiership star was mostly at home off half back.

 

 

For the champions, well, Dustin Martin probably got more Brownlow votes, Nankervis took key marks just like he did in that preliminary final, skipper Trent Cotchin was fearless again and Shai Bolton was nothing but class with his ball use.

 

 

Like the lyrics from the Foo Fighters’ latest hit Waiting on a War, both teams will be ready for their own ‘war’ because from what was shown by the Power and the Tigers on this Friday night, both will be there in the field of battle on the last Saturday in September at the ‘G.

 

 

 

PORT ADELAIDE    3.3   6.10   9.12   11.13 (79)
RICHMOND              4.2   6.3    8.7    11.11 (77)

 

GOALS
Port Adelaide: Motlop, Rozee 2, Butters, Duursma, Fantasia, Houston, Hartlett, Georgiades, Gray
Richmond: Riewoldt 3, Lambert 2, Bolton, Short, Castagna, Lynch, Martin, Aarts

 

BEST
Port Adelaide: Boak, Wines, Butters, Aliir, Lycett, Motlop
Richmond: Cotchin, Martin, Short, Houli, Broad, Bolton

 

 

 

 

The Tigers (Covid) Almanac 2020 will be published in 2021. It will have all the usual features – a game by game account of the Tigers season – and will also include some of the best Almanac writing from the Covid winter.  Pre-order HERE

 

 

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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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