Despite the nature of a practice match, Port Power have come out firing on all cylinders with a thumping 52-point win over the Crows at Alberton Oval on Saturday.
Adelaide kicked the opening two goals through Reilly O’Brien and Billy Frampton, the latter finishing with three for the day.
In a fast and relentless contest, the match was fairly even throughout until the second half where Port stomped their cross-town rivals with excellency. Last year’s wooden spooners were swamped all over the park as the Power slotted five majors in the opening ten minutes of the third quarter, putting a nail in the coffin.
Their midfields battled over four quarters, with Port getting the upper hand through the likes of Travis Boak and Ollie Wines bulldozing their way to the ball, at the centre and around the stoppages, while Karl Amon and Zak Butters provided handy support.
The efficiency of their engine room spelt tremendous trouble for Adelaide’s defence, especially without the experience of Daniel Talia (knee), and the rebound and intercepting of Tom Doedee (groin). Young Jordon Butts tried with a burning passion, but Charlie Dixon was dominant, polling three majors, while a dozen Power players hit the scoreboard at least once.
New players Aliir Aliir and Orazio Fantasia showed some signs of being quality pickups throughout, Aliir was working well through the first half, until the ball stopped coming down the end at the start of the third quarter. Fantasia, the native South Australian and Crows supporter, chipped in two goals in the second quarter when the game was still alive.
On the other team, recruit Jackson Hately certainly tried his heart out at the coalface but was beaten like the rest of the Crows midfield unit with only a handful of possessions.
Ben Keays chimed in through the midfield as best as he could, kicking two goals, and Ned McHenry showed signs of being an AFL-quality player with his constant pressure while also kicking a nice goal from the pocket.
Darcy Fogarty and Taylor Walker were mostly invisible, the former not hitting the scoreboard, the latter only scoring one goal. Fogarty has not shown enough signs as of yet that he will be a regular in the AFL side, more concerned with trying to bustle through opponents and intimidate rather than nailing the basics like scoring regularly and hitting the contests thoroughly.
A dark spot on a warm and sunny day was Wayne Milera, the talented youngster two years into a five-year contract, injuring himself during the second term and going off. Scans later revealed he has ruptured a patellar tendon. He will undergo surgery and begin the rehabilitation process where he stares down a lengthy time on the sidelines, likely missing the season.
Port Adelade: 5.6, 9.9, 15.12, 18.17 (125)
Adelaide: 4.1, 5.3, 8.6, 11.7 (73)