Maybe I went too early on calling Port Adelaide’s season over
RIGHTO Port fans, put your hand in the air if at any time on Saturday you swore and shook your head in amongst sentences such as “Where has this been?” and “Why can’t we do this every week?”
Thank you, all of you, you can put your hand back down.
Is there any other club in the competition that has a 10-goal win – over Essendon – met with a wry grin and shake of the head other than Port Adelaide?
Last week I wrote our season off, whilst still on a knife edge and *gulp* in our own hands *gulp again* season 2019 on the back of two hours of blistering under the roof football is back on.
I’m not sure I can take this and I’m not sure I can drink anymore to deal with it.
Ok, I probably can. I’ll have too.
What we can put the first quarter lead down too is class.
Robbie Gray, all class. His first goal, from 45m out on a worse than 45° angle isn’t his preferred position to kick from but in reality, it was never missing.
Moments later he’s dishing a handball to Sutcliffe and he must have left some polish on the ball as Sutcliffe slotted a gem from tight on the boundary and when Robbie kicked his second for the quarter from a tight angle we’re well on top.
Add majors to Butters and Marshall and Port have the ascendancy on the back of 60% disposal efficiency inside F50, remember last week it was 0%?
In the second quarter Port’s big men took control, Ryder and Ladhams got right on top of Clarke and because of that dominance Port take the 16-point quarter time lead into half time.
Gray gets his third in the quarter, Rozee snaps truly and Dan Houston nails one from on 50 to add some scoreboard stats to his already impressive afternoon.
Speaking of impressive afternoons, it’s around this point that we see Darcy Byrne-Jones take control of the half back line for Port and his one-on-one dual with McDonald-Tipungwuti is as one sided as Jared Polec.
After half time Port lift a notch and play some of the best footy we have for a month on the back of 10 of the last 11 clearances, the big men are giving the likes of Houston, Rockliff, Boak (well held until half time) and Powell-Pepper first look in the middle, Ladhams not just giving first look but often the first touch to a mid in space.
Two minutes into the third quarter and Xavier Duursma is the recipient of an errant kick from defence that goes out on the full. He never really looked inside, he went back, loaded up the banana and slotted it.
There’s plenty of arrows in this kid’s quiver and one is now in the top deck at Marvel.
Another of Port’s young guns then steps up, Rozee roves one off the pack like very few can, timing, positioning and finishes with a major, he really is class, it’s one of two for the quarter and Marshall, the much improved Amon and Sam Gray all chime in and it’s pretty much all over at three-quarter-time with a 35-point lead.
I’d like to take a moment to discuss our best on the weekend here as the last quarter was another procession with Port kicking five goals to one.
Houston, moved from half back into the midfield this year has been exceptional.
He was our preferred distributor across half back last year in the absence of Broadbent and Hartlett, he’s moved into the middle and his decision making and ball use is elite.
Byrne-Jones, mentioned in some dispatches (not this one) as being on the edge of the selection table earlier this year (I seriously don’t know why) continued his excellent 2019. I’ll say here and now he’s in our top five in the B&F come season end.
Rozee, with two goals, five marks, five I50’s and five score involvements is one of the most pure talents to come into a Port Adelaide guernsey in recent memory.
Duursma, by contrast, has the ability but his star power is on the back of his work ethic, he’s an unbelievably hard worker in both directions and has every attribute to be an A grader.
Ladhams, in the AFL side on the back of SANFL form comes in and looks at home (albeit against questionable opposition) with 18 disposals (at 66%), 22 hitouts, seven clearances and a goal assist.
Marshall bags three majors and has a hand in two more in his first game for 10 weeks or so and looks like this is where he belongs.
Powell-Pepper, in and out of games and in and out of the side recently leaves nothing on the field.
He might not be the most polished, he might not be the most skilled, but he gives everything to the cause every week while Karl Amon, much maligned in recent seasons, is putting together a body of work that should see him offered a longer term deal on money better than he probably ever imagined.
The oldest player I’ve mentioned in this group is Amon at the ripe old age of 23.
We can’t think anything but the future looks bright at Alberton, but we’re about the here and now and right here, right now season 2019 has some life left in it, only thing is our destiny is *gulp* in our own hands.
Dave’s best – DBJ, Houston, R. Gray, Duursma, Rockliff, Powell-Pepper, Rozee.
Dave joins the Corn the Pear podcast on Mondays from 6.30pm if you’re keen on some more Port Adelaide content.
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