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|15.8 (98)||Third Quarter [+]||12.5 (77)|
|12.4 (76)||Second Quarter [+]||10.4 (64)|
|9.1 (55)||First Quarter [+]||8.2 (50)|
Port Adelaide have tuned up for the season with a solid 21-point win against North Melbourne at Alberton Oval.
It was very much a game of two halves, as both sides began the match with plenty of attacking intent and seemingly little interest in defending.
By the nine-minute mark of the second quarter, the teams had nineteen goals between them.
On a warm day, that sort of intensity wasn’t likely to last, and from then on it was a rather more restrained affair, until it opened up once more near the end.
In that exhilarating first quarter and a half, North had threatened to pull away, at one stage kicking six unanswered goals as their young midfielders appeared to hit their stride.
But they weren’t quite getting the same service from a slightly undermanned defence, and the Power were able to steady and force their way back in front by early in the second term.
Both sides were highly effective setting up scoring opportunities directly from the centre bounce early in the game, allowing plenty of goals to be scored in small amounts of time.
The Power had something of an advantage on paper in the midfield, and it began to tell as the game went on. They seemed to sort out their defensive structures a little earlier than the Roos, as well, and the latter had trouble moving the ball with much pace late in the second term and throughout the third.
With Scott Lycett and Paddy Ryder on top in the ruck, and Tom Rockliff racking up possessions at will, eventually Port managed to grind down the visitors. By early in the fourth quarter they’d opened up a thirty-eight point lead, that was really only pegged back by a few junk time goals.
But arguably more important than the result were some of the individual performances, particularly by the younger players on both teams.
Of the draftees, Zak Butters was once again the standout, following up an impressive game last week with three goals and some classy work in the forwardline.
Connor Rozee was less busy but looked very dangerous, while Xavier Duursma had plenty of the ball, albeit not always using it effectively.
Bailey Scott turned heads for the Roos with 19 touches and two goals from just 58 per cent game time, while Tarryn Thomas worked hard in his time on the ground.
Of the new recruits, Lycett was excellent for Port in the ruck, but Jared Polec was even better for North. After a slow start, the former Power player clicked into gear with 25 touches and a superb long goal.
Dom Tyson, Jasper Pittard and Aaron Hall all had reasonable but modest performances, while Tom Campbell was well beaten in the ruck. They all face a nervous wait to see if they’ll be in contention for North’s round one team.
Elsewhere, Rockliff returned to his best after a few disposal errors early for Port, while Travis Boak and Darcy Byrne-Jones were busy.
For North, Shaun Higgins was sublime after a slow start. Paul Ahern, Trent Dumont and Kayne Turner started well but faded, while Jack Ziebell and Ben Brown had quiet games.
If the pre-season is mostly about draftees and new recruits then I think both sides would be pretty pleased. Fans nervous about the chances of their team to score heavily under the attack-oriented new rules will be pleased that their side hit 100 points.
However, both teams appear to have a fair bit of work to do defensively. This was a good hit out with some encouraging signs, but it probably didn’t tell us a lot about how either team will perform in 2019.
Port Adelaide Power 19.9.123
North Melbourne Kangaroos 16.6.102
The pre-season continues as the Port Adelaide Power host the North Melbourne Kangaroos at Port’s traditional home at Alberton Oval. Join The Roar for live scores and a blog from 1:10pm AEDT.
Both sides lost their first games of the pre-season, for whatever that’s worth, but both would have taken quite a bit from their matchups.
The Power arguably matched the Crows in general play for a lot of their game, and had very pleasing performances from their highly rated draftees, particularly Zak Butters.
North in turn would have been glad to see a good game from Luke Davies-Uniacke, while new recruit Jared Polec slotted right in.
Expect the former Lion and more pointedly Power player Polec to cop a few boos from the outer at Alberton Oval this afternoon.
At selection, Ken Hinkley has passed up the chance to give games to a range of players, opting for stability ahead of the season proper with an unchanged lineup.
The selection of Paddy Ryder – who appeared to be hurt last week – in particular is a sign of Port’s determination to put their best foot forward today.
That said, Charlie Dixon, Ollie Wines and Hamish Hartlett are all unavailable, so it’s not exactly a full strength team.
North have opted to make a few changes, but still field a pretty strong team with Scott Thompson, Sam Wright and Nathan Hrovat coming in.
Most notably they are missing Ben Cunnington, Robbie Tarrant and Jed Anderson from their first choice team, as well as Todd Goldstein.
The absence of the latter gives new recruit Tom Campbell what might be a rare chance to shine in the ruck.
Although the result of these games tends not to matter, the Power are showing some intent by fielding an unchanged lineup, presumably their best side notwithstanding injuries.
Given these players will be a bit more in tune after one game together already, and with a bit more motivation at their traditional home ground, you’d expect Port Adelaide to show a bit more focus and intent.
Port by 24 points.
Join The Roar for live scores and a blog from 1:10pm AEDT.
Time: 1:10pm AEDT
Venue: Alberton Oval
Port Adelaide Power
B: R.Bonner 26 T.Clurey 17 D.Houston 43
HB: R.Burton 3 T.Jonas – C 42 D.Byrne-Jones 33
C: S.Motlop 6 T.Rockliff 11 J.Westhoff 39
HF: T.Boak 10 J.Watts 23 B.Ebert 7
F: R.Gray 9 P.Ryder 4 C.Rozee 20
Foll: S.Lycett 29 S.Powell-Pepper 2 W.Drew 28
I/C: Z.Butters 18 X.Duursma 21 J.Lienert 40 T.Marshall 13 K.Amon 15 S.Gray 46 D.Howard 32 S.Mayes 34
North Melbourne Kangaroos
B: M.Williams 2 S.Thompson 16 S.Wright 19
HB: J.Pittard 17 B.McKay 23 D.Tyson 21
C: J.Polec 13 T.Dumont 14 L.McDonald 11
HF: A.Hall 43 B.Brown 50 S.Atley 18
F: J.Simpkin 12 M.Wood 32 K.Turner 28
Foll: T.Campbell 42 S.Higgins 4 J.Ziebell – C 7
I/C: N.Hrovat 8 L.Davies-Uniacke 9 P.Ahern 15 N.Larkey 20 T.Thomas 26 B.Scott 30 E.Vickers-Willis 33 C.Zurhaar 44