Round 5 – Carlton v Port Adelaide: An impressive Port show dims Carlton’s hopes


I was hoping lil Robbie Gray would do it again against an ‘improving’ (we’re building since 1995) Carlton Blues. Gray booted the after-the-siren winner last year in the COVID-19 2020 season in Queensland.


The talented veteran kept the ‘grass defending and zoning’ Blues defence at bay again with a trio treat of goals on a fine Saturday night at the MCG. As I slid down a number of Gladstone’s finest ales, Central Queensland’s Great Northern beer, it was the Gray and the Greek Freak Show as Port powered en-route to a 15.6 (96) to 9.14 (68) win.


Mitch Georgiades, the smooth, crafty, agile, key forward, was the other sideshow to Gray’s first-half cameo. ‘The Greek Freak’ has a textbook goal-kicking technique and he nailed a brace, as did his older and more aggressive key forward team-mate in Charlie Dixon.


As the Great Northerns slid down, so did Carlton’s confidence, as the Blues continually coughed it up, save for Sam Walsh. This kid’s a relentless running machine and his work-rate is equal to that of Port’s ex-captain Travis Boak. Kids, take note of these two on their ability to get from contest to contest. That’s how to get it done, win or lose. Walsh WILL be Carlton’s next captain.


It was a game with plenty to lose and win and the Power were the big beneficiaries. With Dan Houston subbed out during the third quarter with a shoulder injury and Hamish Hartlett hammered with a corked thigh, Port Adelaide showed all its player depth as Miles Bergman admirably filled the void left by the long-term injuries to Xavier Duursma and Zak Butters.


‘The Moving Mullet n Mo’ in Lachie Jones was superb off half back and his defensive sidekick in Darcy Byrne-Jones returned to his 2020 All-Australian form with a sublime and polished display. Despite the close checking of Ed Curnow, the Power’s marvel midfielder Boak won the battle with 29 touches. Boak is a prime example of a player willing to sacrifice for the team who then gets back to what he does best – leaving Curnow in his wake. Sheer workrate.


Ollie Wines gets better and better and his ball use was creative while Aliir Aliir was, as Melbourne Demon great Garry Lyon described, Alex Rance-esque in defence. Few would disagree.


The Alberton Oval medical rooms will be busy during the week as the club medicos assess Huston’s shoulder injury and Hartlett’s corked thigh. Houston will have scans on his shoulder during the week and Port coach Ken Hinkley lauded the courage of the injured star duo.


“He’s in a sling,” he said of Huston on

“He tried to come back on, but his wing was ineffective for him.

“As we do always, we’ll pass on the correct information as soon as he’s scanned.

“But I’d be guessing if I tried to tell you what it is now.”


The ball seemed to follow Hartlett and he tried in vain to compete.


“Hamish did a great job. He copped a massive corkie. To be fair, we’ve had four of them in the last two games. Tom Clurey had one last week, Connor Rozee as well … we’ve had a number of boys have them.”


Hinkley said captain Tom Jonas recognised the significance of a game against a Blues side encouraged by back-to-back wins against the Fremantle Dockers and Gold Coast Suns.


“Tom recognised the week I reckon,” Hinkley said.
“That’s what good captains do, they recognise the moment. The moment was that we’d come off a big game and we have to be a side that over and over and over again keeps turning up. That’s what good sides do.

“The very best sides in the competition, they’ve done that for a long period of time. We’re starting to do that, so I’m really pleased and proud of the way Tom and Ollie (Wines) have led them.”


Port are at Adelaide Oval against a talented but inconsistent St Kilda side on Anzac Day evening on Sunday.



CARLTON                3.3    4.5      6.10    9.14 (68)

PORT ADELAIDE    4.2    8.4      14.5    15.6 (96)



Carlton: Casboult 2, Fogarty, Walsh, McKay, McGovern, Cottrell, Newnes, Pittonet

Port Adelaide: Gray 3, Georgiades 3, Fantasia 2, Dixon 2, Lycett, Marshall, Amon, Woodcock, Rozee



Carlton: Walsh, Cripps, Saad, Docherty, Casboult

Port Adelaide: Byrne-Jones, Wines, Marshall, Georgiades, Amon, Gray, Aliir



Carlton: Nil

Port Adelaide: Houston (shoulder)



Carlton: Dow (unused)

Port Adelaide: Drew (replaced Houston)


Crowd: 32,893 at the MCG



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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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