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Opposition Watch: Port Adelaide Power

Our next opposition, Port Adelaide Power, crashed back to earth in Round 12, suffering a hefty 70-point defeat to Essendon.

Just a week prior Port had humiliated Hawthorn in a dominant performance that signalled their strength. The loss to the Dons was therefore unexpected, with critics quick to point out Port’s inability to beat teams in the top half of the ladder this season.

Essendon raced out of the blocks against Port, slamming on 48 points in the first quarter off 13 scoring shots – it’s best ever start to a game against the Power. 

The opening salvo was almost an exact repeat of what Port Adelaide inflicted on Hawthorn, except this time the scoreboard wasn’t favouring them.

A brief fightback by Port in the second quarter was killed off quickly, and Essendon heading into half time with a commanding 52-point lead.

Cale Hooker made it a night to remember by rattling off five first-half goals. Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti and Joe Daniher were also on song, finishing with four goals each. 

The final margin blew out to 70 points, with Essendon 19.17 (131) to 8.13 (61) victors. The loss was Port’s second highest ever to the Dons.

The usual suspects of Justin Westhoff, Ollie Wines, Robbie Gray and Paddy Ryder were the best performers for Port, while powerhouse forward Charlie Dixon was kept goalless.

As expected, Port Adelaide Coach Ken Hinkley was disappointed with his team’s efforts.

"We were shown up in all parts of the game tonight and that's the first time this year we've let ourselves down terribly," Hinkley said. 

"Essendon were pretty good, I have no doubt about that, but we didn't offer much resistance."

Returning to their fortress of Adelaide Oval this Saturday to host the Lions, Port will no doubt be fired up to rectify their performance against Essendon and keep their top four aspirations alive.

Injury List

Like the Lions, Port has a relatively clean bill of health at the moment, with no injuries sustained in Saturday’s loss to Essendon.

Lions Health Centre: Injury List 

Karl Amon (knee) is 2-3 weeks away from returning.

Angus Monfries, who hasn’t played first grade this year, injured his calf in the SANFL on the weekend and will undergo scans to assess the damage.

Aidyn Johnson (hip) will be assessed this week ahead of Port’s SANFL match against Sturt on Sunday. 

The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs