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|6.5 (41)||Second Quarter [+]||6.8 (44)|
|4.3 (27)||First Quarter [+]||2.4 (16)|
Port Adelaide have recorded a famous first-up win over Melbourne, and against the odds.
After a fast start by Melbourne, it was really all Port Adelaide from there, with particular mention to Sam Powell-Pepper, Ryan Burton on debut for his club, and a very satisfied Jack Watts.
Melbourne were disappointing, more so considering they couldn’t even score a last quarter goal. Max Gawn was thoroughly outplayed today.
Melbourne Demons 9.7.61
Port Adelaide Power 12.15.87
The third game of the opening round of the AFL 2019 season sees two teams facing off against each other with a mountain of expectation on their shoulders, the 2018 preliminary finalist Melbourne Demons playing host to Port Adelaide Power, at the MCG. Join The Roar from 1:45pm (AEDT) for live scores and blog of the game.
Off the back of a successful 2018 season, and with Simon Goodwin extending his time with the Dees, the time for talk is over for the Melbourne team, and the time to deliver is now.
There is a lot of familiarity about the Demons in this game, as they welcome the fresh faces of Marty Hore, and Corey Wagner into the side.
The glaring omission, or omissions if you will, remains that of Jake Lever, but the added wrinkle of losing star off-season recruit Stephen May, who will be sitting on the sidelines through a silly pre-season suspension.
For a while now, the idea about Melbourne has been that they were building towards becoming more than competitive.
With all the pieces in place, you feel that time is now, and if they want to be taken seriously as premiership contenders, then a first up win to kick off the season is almost a must.
What he would give to be out there helping his new team, and should the Demons suffer a first half loss, you can’t help but imagine May will have something of a debt to pay back almost immediately to his new club.
However, when it comes to expectations, no club bears that burden more heavily than most, than Port Adelaide.
The last few years, things just haven’t seemed to fall into place for the second Adelaide club (and I say second, if only because they entered the AFL later, and have one less premiership than the crows).
Recruiting heavily going into last season, Port fizzled, so 2019 if anything carries even greater expectation on the Port players.
In terms of recruitment, while not carrying the same glamour as say a Steven May, or even a Patrick Dangerfield, the addition of Scott Lycett opens up one or two possibilities for the visitors.
With Lycett more than likely carrying the lion’s share of the rucking duties, that should open up Paddy Ryder to cause terror up front.
The expectation is just as real, and as heavy as ever, upon a Port side that seemingly continues to disappoint since their wondrous end of season run in 2014.
With Chad Wingard gone, Port have put a fair amount of faith in rising star runner-up Ryan Burton, bringing his silky smooth skills to South Australia.
Of course, it helps when you still have a genuine superstar in Robbie Gray in your line-up, although it is a tick unfortunate that young bull Ollie Wines, who may be coming into a prime phase of his career, will be sitting on the sidelines, perhaps nursing a sore shoulder.
It is probably the MCG that invariably tips this contest in Melbourne’s favour, with Port having only beaten the Dees twice in their last 10 MCG meetings.
This should be tight early, but expect a 2018-hardened Demons side to settle in time to run away with it.
Melbourne by 25.
When: Saturday, 23 March 2019, at 1:45 PM (AEDT)
Where: MCG, Melbourne
TV: Fox Sports channel 504, Kayo, and live streaming on AFL app
Betting: Melbourne $1.30, Port $3.35, the line 26.5 $1.90.
B Jordan Lewis, Oscar McDonald, Neville Jetta
HB Michael Hibberd, Sam Frost, Nathan Jones
C Bayley Fritsch, Clayton Oliver, Christian Salem
HF Alex Neal-Bullen, Tom McDonald, Christian Petracca
F Jake Melksham, Sam Weideman, Jack Viney
FOL Max Gawn, James Harmes, Angus Brayshaw
I/C Charlie Spargo, Jayden Hunt, Marty Hore, Corey Wagner
EMG Braydon Preuss, Harrison Petty, Tom Sparrow, Declan Keilty
Port Adelaide Power
B Riley Bonner, Tom Clurey, Dan Houston
HB Ryan Burton, Tom Jonas, Darcy Byrne-Jones
C Steven Motlop, Tom Rockliff, Justin Westhoff
HF Travis Boak, Jack Watts, Brad Ebert
F Robbie Gray, Paddy Ryder, Connor Rozee
FOL Scott Lycett, Sam Powell-Pepper, Willem Drew
I/C Zak Butters, Xavier Duursma, Karl Amon, Todd Marshall
EMG Sam Mayes, Sam Gray, Kane Farrell, Dougal Howard