Port Adelaide outlasted the reigning premier on Friday night football by two points to reaffirm their premiership aspirations.
What a game this was folks. A true titanic arm wrestle from the outset with both sides having their moments of dominance however Port had the chance to blow the game apart in the second term, but wayward kicking meant the Tigers were still in the contest.
As they have shown over the years, Richmond are third-quarter specialists, and this rang true again on Friday night as they stamped their authority on the match. Port hung in and then took the lead late on in the final term with a well-taken goal from star Robbie Gray and the Power hung on for a memorable victory.
Port had players on every line who did their job. Aliir Aliir was immense in defense for Port with his one-on-one work a feature as to was his intercepting which is the main reason he was bought to Alberton.
Ollie Wines and Travis Boak did what they do best in the middle. Winning contested ball and smashing the Tigers in clearances to give Port’s forwards first use and they were the main reason for their team’s dominance in the second quarter.
Then there was Karl Amon. Has there been a bigger change in the fortunes of a player? Essentially on the scrap heap at Alberton two years ago, Amon has now transformed himself into one of ken Hinkley’s main men. His raking left foot, supreme skills, pace, and ability to cover the ground are features of his game and they were all on show against the Tigers as he was one of Port’s best on the night.
Port’s young bridge in Connor Rozee, Zak Butters, and Xavier Duursma were all immense too. Rozee on one leg left Dylan Grimes in his wake as he kicked a crucial goal in the third term, Butters brought his own football in the first quarter and Duursma was simply sensational in the last term as it seemed like he had a point to prove, and he owned the quarter until he got injured. All three have shown why they are already genuine stars of the competition.
Picking Port Adelaide’s best on Friday night is a thankless task as every single player did their job in helping to get the Power over the line.
For me, Boak was simply sensational against the Tigers. At the coalface, winning clearances and contested possessions as he propelled Port forward numerous times. The 32-year-old is again in unreal form and after his down week against the Eagles he, like many of his teammates came back with an almighty bang.
Travis Boak stats
- 29 disposals
- 13 contested possessions
- 6 inside 50s
- 7 clearances
- 5 score involvements
Boak was instrumental in Port’s win and you can easily argue that another three or four players could have been the Power's best and I would have no issue, but I think the ex-skipper was incredible on the night. His clearance work, gut running, and uncanny ability to accumulate possessions were critical in his side's win.
Like a fine wine, Boak is getting better with age.