2017 season preview: Port Adelaide Power

Stirling Coates Roar Guru

By Stirling Coates, Stirling Coates is a Roar Guru

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    Looking at the number, Port Adelaide should be confident heading into the second half of the season. (AAP Image/Ben Macmahon)

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    Port Adelaide simply never got going in 2016, missing the finals in disappointing fashion for a second straight year.

    The Power are running out of time to prove 2014 wasn’t just a flash in the pan, but have they done enough to deliver on their promise and get back to September football?

    Let’s have a look at the list changes made in the off-season.

    Additions: Todd Marshall, Sam Powell-Pepper, Joe Atley, Willem Drew, Peter Ladhams, Brett Eddy, Jarrod Lienert, Emmanuel Ira (draft).

    Subtractions: Alipate Carlile (retired), Jay Schulz, John Butcher, Kane Mitchell, Paul Stewart, Cam O’Shea, Sam Colquhoun (delisted).

    What happened last year?
    The first five weeks of 2016 were a clear indication that the dominant Port of 2014 weren’t coming back anytime soon.

    A complete non-performance in the Showdown, as well as embarrassing losses to GWS and Geelong had the Power well off the pace of their past selves and the top eight.

    The club rebounded somewhat to sit at a respectable 6-5 at the halfway point of the season, but the club couldn’t string together consecutive wins in a spluttering second half to the year that saw them finish 10-12 and in 10th place.

    What’s changed?
    With the team reportedly tight against the salary cap, Port Adelaide were virtually dormant in the trade period.

    The Power took part in one deal – a draft pick swap with Sydney – and while this didn’t bring in any established recruits, it did see them select twice in both the first and second rounds of the draft.

    The Essendon ASADA suspensions saw Port Adelaide lose both Paddy Ryder and Angus Monfries last year, and while there were murmurs that Angus Young’s emergence had the club looking to ship off Monfries, both will make their welcome return to the line-up this year.

    What needs to happen in 2017?
    If they’re to have any hope of improving in 2017, Port Adelaide must use the ball better.

    Much of the Power’s stat sheet makes for surprisingly pleasant reading considering they’ve missed the finals for two years straight. They averaged the second-most clearances per game in 2016 despite having easily the worst hit-out differential (-21!) in the competition.

    As far as other averages-per-game, the club also finished fifth in inside 50s and third in tackles.

    Travis Boak Port Adelaide Power AFL 2015

    Despite a turnaround in fortunes, the contested possession and uncontested possession numbers Port put every week are extremely similar to the ones they were notching during their scintillating 2014 campaign.

    Ken Hinkley’s charges clearly put in a solid level of effort, but this has counted for naught on too many occasions because of league-worst disposal efficiency.

    The Power’s disposal efficiency of 70.7 per cent put them at the bottom of the table last year, with the club also averaging 58 outright clangers a game – five more than the next worst offender. This rendered the impressive numbers Port put up elsewhere on the stat-sheet to nothing but bookkeeping.

    Port only plucked marks from 74 (ten contested) of their 200 kicks a game. Their 55 entries inside 50 a game only yielded ten marks. Only the Brisbane Lions got less bang for their buck with the boot in 2016.

    For all the hard work the Power put in around the ground, they continually find themselves battling their own skills just as much their opponents, and not even the best game plan in the world will save them if this doesn’t improve dramatically.

    The verdict
    Ryder and Monfries will add a bit more to the team than people may realise in 2016, the boost they provide in the ruck and up forward mean nothing if their teammates can’t hit targets.
    Prediction: 12th

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    The Crowd Says (8)

    • March 19th 2017 @ 6:40am
      reff said | March 19th 2017 @ 6:40am | ! Report

      that’s more of a look back & prediction than a preview

    • March 19th 2017 @ 12:28pm
      Gyfox said | March 19th 2017 @ 12:28pm | ! Report

      The majority are tipping Port not to do anything much this year. That will work in their favour. They will finish higher than 12th. In fact I think they may be in the Finals – & certainly will be above their arch-enemy, the Crows

      • March 19th 2017 @ 3:35pm
        sammy said | March 19th 2017 @ 3:35pm | ! Report

        above the crows…maybe in the year 2050

        • Roar Rookie

          March 19th 2017 @ 8:17pm
          Lamby said | March 19th 2017 @ 8:17pm | ! Report

          Above the Crows? Is there any line where Port are better than the Crows? At a pinch
          Foll Patrick Ryder Ollie Wines Travis Boak
          might just shade
          Foll Patrick Ryder Ollie Wines Travis Boak

          But every other line does not get close!

      • March 19th 2017 @ 5:05pm
        David C said | March 19th 2017 @ 5:05pm | ! Report

        Reckon 12th is generous. Bottom 5.

    • March 19th 2017 @ 1:54pm
      Brendon the 1st said | March 19th 2017 @ 1:54pm | ! Report

      Port are currently the most underestimated team in the league.

      With Ryder coming back and a relatively young list I’m not sure why, but it will work in their favour.

      Finals are on the cards this year, as long as Ken pays attention to who can dispose of the ball and who can’t, disposal is key.

    • March 24th 2017 @ 11:28am
      Rising Power said | March 24th 2017 @ 11:28am | ! Report

      Stopped reading at “Angus Young’s emergence”.

    • March 25th 2017 @ 8:01pm
      powa said | March 25th 2017 @ 8:01pm | ! Report

      I doubt it will be 12th after that game

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