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Opinion

Who makes Port Adelaide's Round 1 team against North Melbourne?

(Photo by James Elsby/AFL Photos via Getty Images)
Roar Rookie
15th March, 2021
5

With the AFL season getting underway on Thursday, everybody is putting forth their thoughts on the side that should be starting in Round 1 against North Melbourne.

After two impressive pre-season games, albeit with the Adelaide Crows, there was a host of fringe players as well as the two recruits putting their hands up for selection.

Orazio Fantasia and Aliir Aliir are both certainties for the clash with the Roos, while Miles Bergman and Mitch Georgiades are giving Ken Hinkley something to think about.

Here is my team to take on North Melbourne in the season opener.

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Defence
The back six has been consistent for the last year and a half and with the addition of Aliir, it only gets stronger.

Dan Houston and Ryan Burton are in the pockets with Tom Jonas lined up at fullback.

The half-back line picks itself. Darcy Byrne-Jones, Aliir Aliir and Hamish Hartlett are all certainties for the season barring any injuries, and looking at it on paper, Port’s back six has some serious talent.

Midfield
Xavier Duursma and Karl Amon are Port’s wingers in my team. Both can run all day and when it comes to Amon, his stock has risen dramatically over the last year or so and his foot skills are a thing of beauty.

Duursma is still developing nicely but he is held to the standards of the other two guns that he was drafted with in Connor Rozee and Zak Butters and is considered by many to now be the third best among the trio.

Xavier Duursma

(Daniel Kalisz/Getty Images)

Ollie Wines and Travis Boak pick themselves in the middle but Tom Rockliff doesn’t make the side if Sam Powell-Pepper and Rozee are fit. But for the sake of Round 1, Rockliff gets a reprieve and Scott Lycett is Port’s leading big man.

Forwards
Port boasts potentially the most explosive attack in the competition, with Charlie Dixon, Orazio Fantasia, Robbie Gray and Mitch Georgiades as locks for Round 1.

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I would like to see Todd Marshall come into the side but he has to work his way back into the team that thumped Adelaide twice.

Peter Ladhams could be used as the second tall forward/ruck and maybe Steve Motlop could do with a place on the bench.

In reality, you could have seven to eight players on the bench. Port’s depth is that good. But it is a bit clearer than that.

Tom Clurey, Willem Drew, Lachie Jones and Miles Bergman could all be in line for a spot on the bench come Round 1 after having decent performances against Adelaide, as could Riley Bonner.

That would be my side to take on North Melbourne to open the season. With Sam Powell-Pepper to come back in hopefully and Rozee as well after a couple of weeks, Port’s depth is a serious strength now.

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Predicted final 22 for Round 1
B: Houston, Jonas, Burton
HB: Byrne-Jones, Aliir, Hartlett
C: Duursma, Wines, Amon
HF: Butters, Dixon, Fantasia
FF: Ladhams, Georgiades, Gray
R: Lycett, Boak, Rockliff
IC: Clurey, Bonner, Motlop, Bergman

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