The Footy Almanac 2007 Week 3 Finals – Port Adelaide v North Melbourne: Might and 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 Kangaroos

4pm, Saturday, September 22

AAMI Stadium, Adelaide



WE SHOULDN’T SPEND TOO MUCH TIME wondering about the intricacies of this game because there weren’t many. Port were refreshed by their week off. With quick running from the centre stoppages by Rodan and Shaun Burgoyne, coupled with deadly accuracy in front of the sticks, this game was all over by late in the second quarter.


Key Kangaroo players were standing in the middle of the ground with their hands on their hips before the centre break, which was not a good sign. Already six goals up at the start of the third quarter, Port, aided by a four-goal wind, smashed these pretenders, kicking 8.7 to 1.7 in a powerhouse half hour.


At that point, thirteen goals behind, Dean Laidley should have been looking for a white towel. Instead, we were subjected to one of the most meaningless last quarters in any game this year. The Port mob was delirious with their Mexican wave.


Mark Williams didn’t want a 20-goal canter into the grand final or, at least, not with this bunch of players who have shown him many times how capable they are of getting ahead of themselves. He attempted to rein them in with rotations but the Kangaroos were so knackered and so woefully inaccurate that Port won that quarter, too, without really trying. After a couple of gimme goals, Tredrea bowed to the crowd and Chad Cornes goose-stepped. Self-satisfaction is never pretty. Nor was the petulance of the Victorian press the next day.


That last quarter went on and on. It had a spooky time-loop about it, as if somehow we had slipped into the beginning of a second match. That sensation had something to do with the 4pm start.


The Kangaroos showed rare glimpses of why they had managed to sneak into the top four this year. On three occasions, they established lovely running lines from defence. Five or six players moved the ball fluently in well-drilled formations. On each occasion, though, this fine play ended up in badly fluffed shots at goal. On the other hand, Port tend to use only two or so players in quick breaks from the stoppages. One player will run a long way with the ball and they have enough brilliant runners – Rodan, Pearce, both Burgoynes – to get the ball deep into attack. In this game, Port had a staggering eight walk-in goals.


Recruit of the year, David Rodan, was the organising force in the Port midfield. North were in the terrible position of having too many Port matchwinners to tag – Rodan was the one left over.


Early in the third quarter, Brett Ebert kicked a brilliant goal from 45 metres out, on a 45 degree angle. He floated it up on the far post and let the wind carry it back through the sticks. Two minutes later, from a nearly identical position, he repeated the effort. In the last quarter he snapped one over his right shoulder deep in the pocket that felt like Bucky Cunningham in the ’80s.


Ebert has become Port’s go-to forward this season. He has been leading strongly all year and marking well. Westhoff, as clever as he is, is still a background act, picking his goals from the spoils, taking things that fall off the back of trucks. Motlop is there, too, feeding off the edges of things, occasionally putting himself centre stage, and Tredrea, once the freeway, is now the last avenue to goal. This is a complex attack for coaches to understand.


Dom Cassisi crunched Brent Harvey most of the game; Chaplin, Wakelin and Thurstans dominated their backline; Lade and Brogan won the ruck; Chad Cornes finally shook off Brady Rawlings and had a serviceable second half. Port had no passengers, only Michael Wilson who was carried off after snapping his Achilles tendon in the second quarter.


Daniel Harris won the hardball gets and Shannon Watt won the rebounds. Ed Lower and Adam Simpson came under notice but Glenn Archer, Brent Harvey and Shannon Grant would like to forget this game.


Archer won’t, of course. This was his last game. When he met his wife and children at the end of the long guard of honour, formed by all players and both coaching panels, this was another occasion for the display of Australian tears.


There have been too many bloody men crying this year.



Port Adelaide                    6.0          9.3          17.10    20.13 (133)

North Melbourne              3.2           3.7           4.10        5.16 (46)



Port Adelaide: Ebert, Motlop, Tredrea 3, Logan, Rodan, Salopek 2, Boak, C. Cornes, K. Cornes, Pearce, Westhoff

North Melbourne: Grant 2, Edwards, Harris, Lower



Port Adelaide: Rodan, Ebert, Chaplin, S. Burgoyne, Cassisi, Pearce, Thurstans, Wakelin, C. Cornes, Logan, P. Burgoyne, Lade, Brogan

North Melbourne: Harris, Lower, Simpson, Watt, Harvey



Brogan (Port Adelaide) 100 games.



Vozzo, Rosebury, Kennedy.



Rodan (PA) 3, Ebert (PA) 2, Chaplin (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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