Bragging rights on the line when Port Adelaide and the Crows meet in Showdown 49

Both sides are coming into Saturday night's clash off a loss, but form counts for nothing when these cross-town rivals square up.

Here we are less than 48 hours until Showdown 49 and we can all feel the excitement building. Port Adelaide against the Crows is a feud that is steeped in history and controversy.

Some of the Port Adelaide faithful have a deep hatred of Adelaide but for me, hatred is a strong word. More like intensely dislike them.

There is something about Adelaide that Port dislikes. There is something there that we can’t stand, and I am sure it is the same for their supporters too when it comes to Port. Football manager Chris Davies was on SEN this morning and gave his thoughts on why Adelaide dislike Port so much:

"Their position is largely around being cross-town rivals and a whole heap of professional jealousy around what our club has been able to achieve over time," Davies said.

"Whereas our meaning for disliking the Adelaide footy club is a little bit deeper.

"And that is largely my responsibility in this week, is to make sure that our players get an understanding of ... why we dislike Adelaide."

“Our challenge this week has been make sure our people know what the history is because we certainly don't want it to die with generations into the future," Davies said.

"We get that there is rivalry and there's neighbour versus neighbour and it splits families into who supports Adelaide and who supports Port Adelaide.

"I don't just want to turn around and say to our players that the rivalry exists between Adelaide and Port Adelaide and leave it at thinking that we only dislike what their clubs stands for on the basis of geographics.

"There's is a whole heap of deeper meaning."

I would liken it to Arsenal’s rivalry with Tottenham (for you soccer fans). Just that deep dislike and you never want them to have any success. You don’t like the colours, the players, the fans, just everything about the club is no good.

There is nothing better than seeing the Crows lose but I do have that professional respect for them too. What they had to deal with when the death of Phil Walsh happened is something you wouldn’t wish on your worst enemy.

With that being said, beating Adelaide has to be one of the best things to happen during any given season and last year was a prime example and it was even better because Port did it in the prison bar jumper. Port won the game with ease and given that it was the only Showdown to be played made it that little bit sweeter.

Now looking ahead to Saturday night’s game and many pundits have Port winning and winning easily but as we have seen throughout history, form means next to nothing when the rivals meet. Adelaide is coming off a thumping at the hands of the Giants, while Port got taught a lesson by Brisbane so both sides will be looking to make amends come Saturday.

The build-up during the week has a finals-like feel about it and the games themselves do too. It is no secret that Port has the better side, even without Zak Butters and Xavier Duursma, Port should be winning this football game. The addition of ex-skipper Travis Boak is a timely one as he was sorely missed last week.

Bragging rights have belonged to Port Adelaide supporters for over a year now and they will be hoping that Ken Hinkley’s men do not produce the same kind of performance as they did against Brisbane. This game is Port’s to lose, and it is one that they shouldn’t be losing, despite the injuries.

As with any game, the midfield battle will hold the key to winning, and looking at both, Port has a clear advantage so they must make it count. Elsewhere on the ground Port have winners just about on every line and that should hold them in good stead for Saturday.

This is so much more than a game for fans of both sides. It is bragging rights; it is the right to go into work and show up and torture your friends. It means wearing your teams’ colours with pride because it doesn’t matter if you lose the next six games. After all, beating your cross-town rival means the world.

Showdown 49 is a game Port Adelaide should be winning but when it comes to these two teams, expect the unexpected. It is 3rd v 13th but it will not feel like it. Make no mistake there is a deep dislike for the Crows and vice versa which makes winning on Saturday night all the more important.

Everything is set up for Port Adelaide to get their season back on track but they do have an uncanny ability to lay an egg at the most inopportune time, please for the love of god Port, don’t let it be this week.

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