The Footy Almanac 2007 Round 15 – Port Adelaide v West Coast: A burst up the ladder for the Power

The first printed edition of The Footy Almanac came out in 2007, before we had a website. In the absence of a real 2020 season, we will be publishing the 2007 pieces for the first time ever on Follow the season!



Port Adelaide versus West Coast

2.40pm, Saturday, July 14

AAMI Stadium, Adelaide



THE EAGLES HAVE HAD THEIR TROUBLES ALL YEAR, with injuries and other problems of their own making, but they have still managed to present a formidable unit each week… or so it seemed. Their wheels began to fall off in June with losses to Essendon and St Kilda. Adelaide let them back in the competition in Round 13 but the subsequent loss to Brisbane has seriously tarnished their premiership status. In this match, without Kerr and Wirrpanda and only half a Judd, team disintegration reached tipping point. Ben Cousins won’t save them but their soft run home, playing just one team in the current eight, might get the battered ship back to harbour.


Mark Williams has had a difficult season, too, juggling his marketing department’s Revolution 2007 theme with the more evolutionary task of turning a bunch of baby-faced kids into reliable men. That Port marketing division always comes up with some wacky theme pinched from the student revolution years of the seventies. Power to the People and all that stuff. There must be some old counter-culturalist lurking over the light table with his Letraset and gluepot who comes out of the closet every summer. Will next year’s theme be Right On, Brothers and Sisters! ©


Last Saturday, Port fired on all cylinders for four quarters in a powerhouse display of team football. Asked whether he needed a top four finish to be motivated at having a genuine crack at the Cup, Williams said what all Port supporters wanted to hear: “If we get into the final eight, we won’t be sitting back. Absolutely anything’s possible.” The revolution is on.


Port were the genuine article in this game with noticeable improvement from all of their forward options. Warren Tredrea will never be his brilliant dominating self again – those Kick it to Warren days are long gone. But, at one stage in the third quarter, he was involved directly or indirectly in four quick goals; there was a screen here, a bump there, a long falling handball and a telling mark. Around him, the skinny Justin Westhoff constructed goals for himself and others with sharp intelligence, rather than brute strength; Daniel Motlop became less flashy and more effective; Brett Ebert led strongly and passed the ball quickly, creating many opportunities for his teammates; and Chad Cornes picked up a lazy four when no-one was noticing. The Port forwards used each other to construct team goals. In the past, this theme has often gone missing when some of its brilliant individuals, namely the two Burgoyne boys, decide not to play.


Individual brilliance has often sparked team brilliance in this group; conversely, the lack of a few individuals to constantly deliver the miraculous has also seen Port quickly lose its collective will. This full-on/full-off syndrome has been Port’s bugbear over recent years, but Williams seems to be getting on top of it.


In that light, I had mixed feelings watching Danyle Pearce’s outstanding solo effort, weaving his way along the wing, bouncing the ball, ignoring multiple options, baulking, reaching the flank, straightening up and delivering what may become the Goal of the Year. He had to kick that goal! If he had missed, he should have been dragged and dropped next week, for not understanding why football is a team game. And for not understanding that the last thing Port Adelaide needs is a third Burgoyne.


I was more impressed when both Nathan Lonie and David Rodan burst from the fold and, instead of only being nominated link players, had the courage to break the shackles and go for it by themselves. A good team structure allows this sort of unpredictable breakout. It throws the opposition’s defence into despair. John Worsfold was shellshocked at the press conference and why wouldn’t you be after being smacked by 91 points by a bunch of pretenders? He normally faces each question with the straightest of bats and the po-est of faces. This week, those large sad eyes had nothing to hide. He’s discovered that his champion team needs all of its champions on the track for the rest of the year to even stay in the eight.


Mark Williams was at his cheery worst. He’d just coached a game when his two fireflies, the two Burgoyne boys, were less than brilliant but nearly every other player on his board excelled. Below, I name fifteen Port players amongst their best, the highest number this season, and it only includes one Burgoyne. This is that first sign that his young side has grown up.



Port Adelaide  5.9 10.16 17.16 22.21 (153)

West Coast  1.1 3.4 6.6 9.8 (95)



Port Adelaide: C. Cornes, Motlop, Westhoff, 4, Tredrea 3, Thomson 2, Ebert, Lade, Lonie, Pearce, Rodan.

West Coast: Lynch 3, Armstrong, Cox, B. Jones, LeCras, McKinley, Seaby.



Port Adelaide: C. Cornes, K. Cornes, Rodan, Ebert, Cassisi, Westhoff, Thurstans, Lonie, Thomson, Lade, Tredrea, Boak, Motlop, P. Burgoyne, Pearce.

West Coast: Lynch, Seaby, R. Jones, Embley, Rosa, Priddis.



Jones (West Coast) 150 games.



Mackenzie, McKinley (West Coast).



Vozzo, Head, Avon.



Cornes (PA) 3, Westhoff (PA) 2, Rodan (PA) 1.



Burgoyne (PA) 3, C. Cornes (PA) 2, Rodan (PA) 1.






For more Round by Round reports of the 2007 season click HERE


Printed copies of The Footy Almanac 2007 can be purchased here.


2007 Footy Almanac

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