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Port too Power-ful at Adelaide Oval

Lee Gaskin, AFL.com.au  June 17, 2017 8:16 PM

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PORT Adelaide has returned to the top four with a 40-point victory against the Brisbane Lions at Adelaide Oval on Saturday.

The Power were made to work hard for their seventh win of the season, but did enough to bounce back from last weekend's 70-point flogging at the hands of Essendon.

Ollie Wines and Robbie Gray were outstanding, Paddy Ryder had a huge game in the ruck and Chad Wingard kicked three goals as the Power won – 18.13 (121) to 12.9 (81) – in front of a crowd of 31,772.

"It certainly wasn't our absolute best performance, but by the end of the day, we found a way to win by 40 points against a side that has improved a fair bit since the last time we played them," Power coach Ken Hinkley said.

"We made some mistakes, they made some mistakes, but to come out at the end of the game with a 40-point victory, you've just got to move on.

"We're just in that patch where we're not quite at our absolute best, sometimes it's opposition-driven, sometimes it's us, we're just a tiny bit off-sharp.

"We had been sharp for a big part of the year, but we're a tiny part off-sharp."

Dayne Zorko was immense for the improving Lions, continuing his purple patch of form with 32 possessions, 12 tackles and two goals. 

The Lions were far more competitive than their previous visits to Adelaide Oval, as well as their 83-point loss to the Power at the Gabba in round six this year. 

"To cut that margin in half to 40 points is a positive for our group with where we are at," Lions coach Chris Fagan said. 

"The pleasing part about it is we were well and truly in the game probably until the last five minutes when it blew out a little bit.

"But (Eric) Hipwood kicks that goal in the last quarter, I think the margin was about three and a half goals, and we were some sort of chance. 

"If we were a bit more experience and had a bit more poise, we might have been able to make them a little bit more nervous than we did, but it was still a pleasing effort and one we'll learn a lot from."

Power winger Jared Polec left the ground in the last quarter grabbing his hamstring and is likely to miss two to three weeks.

The Power booted the first three goals of the game, but couldn't shake the scrappy Lions in the opening quarter.

Gray used his body superbly to out-mark Darcy Gardiner in the goalsquare to extend the Power's lead to 15 points at quarter-time.

Ryder was having a field day against the Lions' ruck combination of Stefan Martin and Archie Smith. 

The Power had a dominant advantage in hit-outs (16-1) in the opening term, while their tackling pressure (with 20 tackles to 11) was also elite.

But the Lions - full of confidence after ending a nine-game losing streak with a 57-point win over Fremantle last week - showed plenty of character to close to within three points in the second term. 

Goals to Sam Powell-Pepper and Aaron Young – recalled to the side after 36 touches and five goals in the SANFL last week - restored the Power's 15-point buffer – 8.9 (57) to 6.6 (42) – at half-time.

The Power had the edge in contested possessions (83-75) and inside 50s (36-24) to go with the one-sided display in the ruck (35 hit-outs to six).

But the Lions composed themselves and played an effective high-possession game, having 51 marks to 22 in the first half and 25 more uncontested possessions.

The Power put the Lions on the back foot immediately at the start of the third quarter. 

Spectacular goals came from both sides - Eric Hipwood turning on the afterburners in the forward pocket, Powell-Pepper going bang from inside the centre square and Ryan Bastinac snapping around his body.

The Power took control of the centre clearances, winning nine to two, and were efficient in attack with 6.1 from 17 inside 50s to take a 28-point lead into the final term.

MEDICAL ROOM
Port Adelaide:
 Winger Jared Polec left the ground grabbing his hamstring late in the game and is likely to miss two to three weeks. Apart from that, it was a clean bill of health for the Power.

Brisbane Lions: Jake Barrett and Nick Robertson left the ground late, but the club couldn't confirm their injuries. 

 

NEXT UP
The Power will be hoping to consolidate their top-four spot when they take on Collingwood at the MCG next Saturday, 1.45pm AEST. Meanwhile, the Lions face another big challenge when they host Greater Western Sydney at the Gabba next Saturday, 4.35pm AEST.

PORT ADELAIDE     5.6   8.9   14.10   18.13   (121)                  

BRISBANE LIONS    3.3   6.6    10.6     12.9     (81)          

 

GOALS

Port Adelaide: Wingard 3, Wines 2, R.Gray 2, Young 2, Ryder 2, Powell-Pepper 2, Hartlett, Dixon, Boak, S.Gray, Neade

Brisbane Lions: Bastinac 3, Hipwood 2, Zorko 2, Taylor, Barrett, Andrews, Rockliff, Lester 

 

BEST 

Port Adelaide: Ryder, Wines, R.Gray, Byrne-Jones, Powell-Pepper, Westhoff

Brisbane Lions: Zorko, Bastinac, Andrews, Hipwood, Lester

 

INJURIES 

Port Adelaide: Polec (hamstring)

Brisbane Lions: Robertson, Barrett

 

Reports: Nil

 

Umpires: Margetts, Deboy, Stephens, Hay

 

Official crowd: 31,772

 

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