Port’s losing streak continues at the hands of Sydney
Port Adelaide’s losing streak extended to five when sunk by Sydney by 38 points in the AFL match on Saturday night.
The Swans won 14.9 (93) to 8.7 (55) at AAMI Stadium, a valuable away victory which establishes them in the top eight.
But Port’s season continued to sour, their fifth consecutive loss marred by another shoulder dislocation to playmaker Steven Salopek.
The Power were unable to counter Sydney star Adam Goodes, who kicked three goals and was instrumental in a comprehensive triumph for the Swans before 20,106 spectators.
Goodes was exceptional early, collecting 14 disposals, six marks and two of his goals in a dominant opening half which helped Sydney to a defining 26-point halftime lead.
He later sealed a sterling match with a last quarter major which ensured Sydney’s seventh win of the year.
Goodes and defender Nick Malceski (35 disposals) were the linchpins as Sydney established their victory platform with a stunning second quarter which returned seven goals to Port’s two.
Sydney had trailed by four points at quarter-time after an even opening but then, driven by the likes of Malceski and his colleagues Martin Mattner and Heath Grundy, blitzed the second.
The defensive trio provided great drive while nullifying a disappointing Port attack, while Swans Ryan O’Keefe and Jude Bolton (two goals) were pivotal in creating a winning midfield.
The Power’s key attacking duo of Brett Ebert and Daniel Motlop were snuffed out – Ebert kicking the sole goal between them.
Port onballer Kane Cornes was tireless in gathering 32 possessions, defender Jacob Surjan showed intent and Chad Cornes, who his coach said was on the verge of being dropped, responded with a solid game.
But few else Power players left an impression as Sydney restrained their opponents to just four goals in the final three quarters.
Port’s heavy defeat was further blotted when Salopek suffered his second shoulder dislocation in three weeks.
Port Adelaide coach Mark Williams said the loss was especially costly given six of his players suffered injuries.
The worst of those was Salopek, with Williams expecting the creative half-back to need season-ending shoulder surgery.
Young gun Hamish Hartlett hurt a thigh, Chad Cornes was concussed, Ebert rolled an ankle, Jackson Trengove suffered a corked hip and Surjan a knock to a knee.
In the injury-riddled circumstances, Williams said his players maintained their spirit but Port simply lacked fit bodies in the end – evidenced by a goalless last term.
“They won’t lie down, they won’t give up … they tried their hearts out,” Williams said.
Sydney coach Paul Roos said his side’s seven-goal second quarter was the game breaker.
“We just sorted out our ball use a bit … and got got some results for it,” Roos said.
“Port, after four losses, were always going to be hard at it and I thought it was a tough, physical game.
The Swans have next weekend off in the midseason break while Port travel to face North Melbourne.© AAP 2013