A response was needed from St. Kilda after last week, instead they were smacked to the tune of 54 points by a Port Adelaide side who barely got out of second gear.
Coming into Sunday night’s clash with Port Adelaide, St. Kilda was expected to come out all guns blazing after their demolition at the hands of the Tigers. However, instead they were made to look like training cones by a Port Adelaide side who ran rampant at the “Portress”.
Credit where it is due though, for the first 20 minutes the ball did live inside the Saint's forward 50 but they couldn’t make it count on the scoreboard. For all of their so-called “dominance”, they only had 1.4 to show for it while Port banged on 4.1.
After that, Port made the Saints look second rate and that is being generous. Touted as a potential top-four side, St. Kilda was simply outclassed and outworked by a slick Port Adelaide side.
Port had winners on every line, and it was the usual suspects getting the job done. Ollie Wines (36 disposals, 13 contested) led the way at the coalface for Port to win the Peter Badcoe medal, Karl Amon again showed he is perhaps one of the most underrated players in the competition with his 34 touches (26 at halftime). Dan Houston showed no signs of his shoulder injury, Ryan Burton looks to be finally on track with his body and it showed last night in what was an assured performance.
Elsewhere Travis Boak (27 touches, 1 goal) did his thing in the middle, debutant Marty Frederick (23 disposals going at 95%, 8 intercept possessions, and 5 score involvements) looked at home at the AFL level while Orazio Fantasia and Steven Motlop booted three goals each as they terrorized the St. Kilda backline. Mitch Georgiades, Charlie Dixon, and Connor Rozee all kicked two goals as the scoring load was spread around nicely.
In defence, skipper Tom Jonas marked EVERYTHING that came his way as he took a game-high 15 for the game along with 26 disposals and 11 intercept possessions. Aliir Aliir again did as he pleased across half-back with 21 touches and seven intercepts.
To get a handle on just how dominant Port was last night is hard to gauge just by looking at the final scoreline. A nine-goal win suggests a spanking, but in reality, it was far more than that. It was soul-destroying. Looking at the stats and you see just how dominant Ken Hinkley’s men were.
Port Adelaide had:
- 141 more disposals
- Went at 79% disposal efficiency compared to 69% of the Saints
- Won the clearances (16-6 centre clearances)
- Have 8 more contested possessions
- An unbelievable 141 more uncontested possessions
- 66 more marks
What do these stats mean? In a nutshell, Port controlled possession and picked apart the Saints at will. When the Power wanted to slow the game down and chip it around they were allowed to do so. When they wanted to go quick and score, the Saints were powerless to stop them. Perhaps the biggest concern for Brett Ratten was the ease in which Port Adelaide went about their business.
Halfway through the second term Fox Footy commentator Dermott Brereton said Port was in training mode. They did as they pleased as the Saints essentially rolled over and let Port do their thing.
For a side coming off such a humbling result the week before, to serve that kind of performance up is troubling if you are a Saints fan. To only have two goals to halftime when you kicked the first of the game is laughable for an AFL side. Now every side has a bad performance in them once or twice a year, but the Saints have had three already this year.
This game had the potential to be a banana skin for Hinkley’s men as we saw what the Saints did last year. However, after the first quarter the result was never in doubt. Winners on every line essentially played bruise-free football for the majority of the contest as the Saints couldn’t get near them and no new injuries, it was a perfect night for Port Adelaide.
St. Kilda wanted to be classed as a top side before the season and hoped to show a response after last week. However, they barely gave a yelp and came up against a Port Adelaide side intending to be ruthless and blow them off Adelaide Oval. Which is exactly what happened.
Port laid down a marker last night as they put St. Kilda to the sword in a truly commanding performance and did it without breaking a sweat.