Port too Power-ful for under-the-pump Roos

Tim Miller Roar Guru

By , Tim Miller is a Roar Guru

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    2017 has been anything but ordinary, but a spot of normality returned at the Adelaide Oval as Port Adelaide notched up a completely by-the-numbers 70-point win over North Melbourne.

    Port went into this match as heavy favourites, a title that has been the bane of plenty of sides this year, but it was clear from the outset that the Power weren’t going to drop this one.

    Their run and spread from the backline, working hard to suffocate the Roos’ attempted forward forays before sprinting the other way to move the ball smoothly for attacks of their own, was again sensational, showing up the Roos for their lack of pace, and their passing sliced the opposition open time and again.

    After kicking six goals to one in the opening ten minutes, the Power largely took the foot off the pedal, save for a period of great dominance early in the third quarter.

    They did enough to keep themselves well in front and on track for a dominant win, but the ferocious pressure they exhibited early faded, and that combined with some spirited work from midfielder Ben Cunnington (33 touches, including a staggering 26 contested), and Ben Brown (3 goals) prevented the blowout that looked imminent.

    Chad Wingard was superb early with three goals to his name by quarter time, and while a fourth never arrived, he finished with 30 touches to be one of his side’s best.

    Justin Westhoff was brilliant as well, with 27 touches and a swathe of goal assists, but really, this was as consummate a team performance as you will see.

    Nobody was beaten, and everybody contributed. Even Robbie Gray, shut down by Roos second-gamer Daniel Nielson up forward, finished with a pair of goals, and could have had more but for some woeful kicking for goal.

    Does this answer any questions at all about either side? Not in the least. Port Adelaide showed again they are ruthless in dispatching lesser sides, while the Roos are clearly in rebuild mode.

    A pair of injuries to youngsters Mitchell Hibberd (shoulder) and Corey Wagner (ankle) hurt in that regard, and with Jack Ziebell, Lindsay Thomas and Shaun Higgins also walking wounded, it could be a nervous wait for team selection this week for Roos fans.

    We have learned to expect the unexpected this year. This match was pretty much exactly what most people thought would happen. And in 2017, that itself was unexpected.

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