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Port surge to second with win over Saints

Jack Watts of Port Adelaide celebrates a goal. (Photo by Mark Brake/Getty Images)
Roar Guru
7th July, 2018
1

Premiership contender Port Adelaide have climbed to second position on the AFL ladder with a comfortable but scrappy 36-point victory over St Kilda.

The Power’s 12.14 (86) to 7.8 (50) win at Adelaide Oval was their fifth on the trot.

But was soured by defender Tom Jonas sustaining a left knee injury after he went to ground awkwardly while being tackled in the third quarter.

Charlie Dixon booted a season-best four goals while Chad Wingard (32 possessions) and Tom Rockliff (30) were influential for the hosts, who were barely threatened from the moment Paddy Ryder dribbled through a slick snap in the opening minutes.

Ryder’s goal was a rare highlight in an ugly, error-filled opening term.

Saints were woeful in front of goals (0.5) while at the other end their turnovers accounted for Port’s 3.1 tally.

The aesthetics barely improve in the second stanza with the home side having all the play and opening up a 31-point buffer.

It could have been more but for some ordinary goal-kicking.

David Armitage, who was easily St Kilda’s best with three goals and 30 touches, belatedly got the visitors going to help reduce the deficit to 18 points at half-time.

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Travis Boak and Justin Westhoff kicked back-to-back majors in the opening couple of minutes of the third term which was again dominated by the hosts.

With Wingard off the chain, the Power fashioned a commanding 22-8 advantage in inside 50s but their shaky 3.6 to 2.0 return, Jonas’s injury, and a late goal to Luke Dunstan gave St Kilda a faint sniff despite being 30 points behind at three-quarter-time.

Jade Gresham goaled twice for the Saints in the fourth but Port prevailed easily as Dixon filled his boots with three goals.