Port Adelaide have started their China careers off with a win, and a big win at that, smashing the Gold Coast Suns in Shanghai.
Gold Coast Suns 4.14.38
Port Adelaide Power 16.14.110
The Gold Coast Suns come face-to-face with the Port Adelaide Power in a historic clash that sees the sides battle it out in Shanghai. Catch all the live scores, highlights and action on The Roar from 3:15pm (AEST).
This will be the first time in the long, long history of Aussie Rules footy that two sides will play for competition points, not only in China but outside of Australia and New Zealand. Ever.
Both sides are coming into the game off the back of some shaky form in the opening seven rounds.
Port Adelaide are just on the cusp of the finals equation with four wins and three losses, leaving them in eighth place on percentage.
For the Suns, they have the reverse record of three wins and four losses, leaving them on nervous ground early in the season at the wrong end of the standings and struggling with consistency.
Gold Coast are fresh off a huge confidence-boosting win over the Cats last week, piling on 124 points to snag the upset and a launching ground to get their season back on track.
After demolishing the hapless Lions in Round 6 with an 83-point win, Port Adelaide were brought back down to Earth last week, losing by ten to West Coast to keep hanging on the edge of the top eight.
These two have met seven times since the Suns came into the competition and it’s not happy reading for Gold Coast fans. They have won just a single game so far, having lost the last five straight dating back to 2011 against Port.
Gold Coast coach Rodney Eade will be without three of his troops this week thanks to injury that has left them back in Australia.
David Swallow has succumbed to a knee injury, while Matt Rosa and Callum Ah Chee have been hit with persisting concussion and back problems respectively.
Eade has welcomed an extended squad for the clash, bringing in Brayden Fiorini, Rory Thompson, Matt Shaw, Jack Bowes, Keegan Brooksby and Josh Schoenfeld as cover.
For the Power, they have managed to avoid any injury troubles from last week, with just one player being left at home.
Dan Houston has been left out of the side. Callum Ah Chee may have been forced out for the Suns, but older brother Brendon has landed a spot in the Power squad.
Karl Amon, Aidyn Johnson and Dougal Howard are the others to make the trip over to China for Port.
Both sides have been so up and down in the opening exchanges of this season that it’s nearly impossible to tell which half of them will turn up today.
Overall, Port have looked the better side in 2017, and with such a big occasion, both sides will have so much more to play for on the big stage as an advertisement for the game in China.
Port’s superior presence up front and execution in front of goal should be the deciding factor today on their way to a close win.
Port Adelaide to win by 14