Round 7 – St Kilda v Port Adelaide: Rozee outlook in the midfield

 

It comes as no coincidence that the move of Connor Rozee and Zak Butters to playing more significant roles in midfield has mirrored Port Adelaide Power’s mini-resurgence from the second half against Carlton on Easter Sunday and to a demolition job on the hapless West Coast Eagles.

 

The pair then played crucial roles in the Power’s come-from-behind one-point win against a likely finals-bound St Kilda which was gunning for its sixth-straight win in a humid, tropical and wet Saturday night at Cazaly Stadium in Cairns’ .

 

Robbie Gray, ever the big moment player, kicked the winning point for Port Adelaide in an energy-draining 5.13 (43) to 4.18 (42) win.

 

Both teams were inaccurate and the Saints looked the goods early with a 14-point lead at half-time.

 

However, two goals to Gray in a four-goal to nil third term brought Port right back into the contest and it was basically an arm wrestle on the heavy and rain-soaked turf.

 

Aliir Aliir was magnificent as he returned to his 2021 form as an All Australian centre half back and his sidekick Ryan Burton was equally as effective.

 

Brownlow Medallist Ollie Wines was in and under all night while Sam Powell-Pepper bulldozed his way through packs to propel the ball forward at every opportunity.

 

Powell-Pepper also gave impressive young ruckman Sam Hayes the chop throughout the game with cameo efforts against star St Kilda and ex-Port ruckman Paddy Ryder.

 

St Kilda were left to rue missed opportunities in a game that may well decide in what part of the top-eight that the Saints are likely to be positioned in.

 

For Port Adelaide, there’s still much work to be done after a horror 0-5 start.

 

Power coach Ken Hinkley said perseverance was key for his team.

 

“It was a grinding game for everyone,” Hinkley said post game.

 

“Someone is unlucky to lose at the end, so pleased for our boys they showed enough to fight, keep going.

 

“After the first quarter where St Kilda got an advantage, we played some pretty strong, ugly footy I’d call it but that’s what you have to play at this time up here.”

 

Aliir handled the ball as though it was dry weather and Hinkley said he welcomed  the athletic defender back into form after his return from injury against Carlton.

 

“We’re a better team when Aliir is in our team,” Hinkley said.

 

“When we defend as a group, we defended as a group tonight, Aliir gets to mop up.

 

“I’m sure he’ll be thanking his teammates.”

 

The Power take on the Western Bulldogs at Adelaide Oval this Friday night.

 

 

ST KILDA                        2.3    3.6    3.13   4.18  (42)
PORT ADELAIDE            0.2    1.4    4.6     5.13 (43)

 

 

GOALS  
St Kilda: King 2, McKenzie, Higgins
Port Adelaide: Gray 2, Wines, Farrell, Marshall

 

 

BEST  
St Kilda: Steele, Ross, Sinclair, Crouch, Wanganeen-Milera
Port Adelaide: Aliir, Butters, Rozee, Wines, Amon 

 

 

INJURIES
St Kilda: None
Port Adelaide: Georgiades (calf)

 

 

SUBSTITUTES
St Kilda: Jarrod Lienert (unused)
Port Adelaide: Xavier Duursma (replaced Georgiades)

 

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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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