AFTER finishing on top of the ladder, Geelong was knocked out of the premiership race by Richmond on Friday night. The loss has divided Cats fans, with many taking aim at Chris Scott for some of his questionable coaching decisions during the 2019 finals campaign. But is their frustration justified?
Season 2019 is still in Port Adelaide’s hands
A big win over Sydney has given Port Adelaide control of its own destiny heading in to the final two rounds of the AFL home and away season, writes Dave Lloyd.
Consistency is not something we Port Adelaide fans are completely familiar with, and it might take more than back to back wins to gain the trust of the supporter group.
But, we can ask no more than backing up after the Essendon win with a 47-point win over Sydney on the weekend.
Port tried some smoke and mirrors around the selection or non-selection of Ollie Wines.
I’m not sure any Port fans or Sydney for that matter were surprised by the “late change” of Wines in for Butters who, not only banged up from last weekend, has looked like a kid ready for a spell on the back of a long debut AFL season.
He’s slightly built but doesn’t play that way.
Sticking to our SOP, Port started a little slowly.
Heeney bags the first for Sydney inside the opening minute and the sound of worthless UBET first goal kicker tickets hitting the floor resonates around Adelaide Oval.
Early on Sydney had the better of general play – three of the first four I50s went to Sydney as they opened Port up from defence twice in the opening half hour going from end to end to score majors.
Port wrestled back the ascendency on the back of six I50s in a row and goals to Amon, co-captain Wines, Rozee and the hard-working Marshall had Port in front by one straight kick at quarter time.
Marshall was outstanding in the first quarter.
He was solid all day, but his tackling pressure inside the forward arc created two goals, one to himself, and he went on to amass eight tackles for the game behind only Dan Houston on the ground.
Six of them inside our attacking zone, excellent pressure from the thin big man.
Sydney weren’t out of the contest by any means and they’ll rue kicking three points with the first three scoring shots of the second quarter as they wasted some decent opportunities on their way to 1.6 for the quarter.
Port’s midfield was holding sway as Ryder and Ladhams dictated terms in the middle.
Houston, Wines and Robbie Gray were the beneficiaries of Port winning 20 centre hitouts across the afternoon, making it 16-5 for clearances from the middle.
First look, get it forward and lock down the zone.
Just how we like to play.
A couple of showers in the quarter didn’t dampen the Port forward line and Dixon marked and kicked truly before Rozee showed his class swooping on a ground ball in the wet and slotting through Port’s third for the term right on half time.
A five goal to three third quarter followed the main break as we found our run from defence on the back of Tom Jonas’ best out for several weeks.
I noted last week he’d been down a little but had bounced back, probably a sign of the way the side had bounced back.
His job in our set up is made much easier if the mids get it forward and the forwards lock it in (see Marshall above).
TJ was excellent in a couple of important one on ones on the day and he had the back line set up behind play, making forward 50 entries harder and harder for the Swans.
When it did come out, the likes of Jonas and DBJ (for the second week running) in defence repelled and Ryder and Ladhams (four marks each) stopped some attacks before they became attacks.
Inside 50s were 19-8 for the quarter and Port extend the lead to 28 points.
The only blemish that half hour was Sydney scored all three goals from chains created by a Port turnover.
Rozee had three to this point, Marshall and Dixon two each.
For the second week in a row, the forward half is functioning.
The last quarter was a side playing for a finals spot against a side who is looking towards their Mad Monday.
Three goals to none with Wines getting his second, Dixon getting his third and much to the chagrin of some punters who had him to kick four goals or more, a missed holding the man late in the goals square that would have netted his fourth.
HOLDING THE MAN!!!
Some would say lucky to be there Cam Sutliffe kicked his second for the day after the final siren to take Port over the 100-point mark and into the eight on percentage.
As it turns out, they stayed there and Monday morning in the office is much nicer when we are.
Season 2019 *gulp* is still in our hands.
Dave’s best – Rozee, DBJ, Houston, Wines, R. Gray, Jonas