Port consolidated their victory over Richmond last week with a professional 28-point win over Carlton at the MCG.
Coming off such a battle with the reigning premier last week, Saturday night’s game against Carlton was a potential banana skin for Ken Hinkley and his side. All the fanfare and build of last week was gone and sometimes there can be a little bit of a letdown the following week, but Port ensured there would be no slip ups.
After a relatively even first quarter, Port was never really troubled by a Carlton side that was struggling all night. Three goals each to Robbie Gray and young star Mitch Georgiades along with Ollie Wines (32 disposals, 14 contested), Travis Boak (29 disposals while being tagged), and Aliir Aliir amassed 17 touches, 10 of which were intercept possessions who were the standouts for the Power.
Carlton never looked like surmounting Port at any stage of the game as they were kept at an arm's length for the majority of the contest. When the Blues kicked a goal, Port kicked two and that was a common theme throughout the night.
Port had the game in control for the most part and put their foot down in the third term, kicking six goals to Carlton’s two and that blew the game open. A couple of consolation goals at the end made the margin look more respectable but make no mistake, Port was a six to seven-goal better team on the night.
Three talls does work
Mitch Georgiades (3 goals, 15 possessions) and Todd Marshall (1 goal, 19 possessions) played exceptionally well together and looked to compliment Charlie Dixon well. The two tall forwards can play together and after last night it is hard to see Peter Ladhams coming back in unless there is an injury. The one thing that is less than ideal is Dixon having to ruck during the game. We all know his injury history, in particular his ankles and it feels like an accident waiting to happen, but we know it can work.
Karl Amon is the Rolls Royce of the Port Adelaide side, again impressing with his run and carry with a superb goal to go along with his 28 touches. Aliir Aliir was again another standout as his intercepting and his ability to cover two players at the same time even had Fox Footy’s Garry Lyon suggesting Aliir was ‘Rance” like in Port’s back half and given the evidence it is hard to disagree with.
Robbie Gray again showed his supreme class with three first-half goals, Miles Bergman and Lachie Jones acquitted themselves well again at AFL level while Orazio Fantasia again was amongst the goals, kicking another two to take his tally to 11 for the season. The former Bomber has kicked at least two goals in every game this season aside from the West Coast game where he kicked a solitary goal and is proving a valuable addition to the forward line with Rozee hurt and Zak Butters out for at least the next four weeks.
Injuries continue to mount
The only sour note for Port was again there were some injuries to come out of the clash. Ollie Wines stated in his post-game interview that had the game been a couple of days earlier, there would have been two or three players that would not have played. The major issues surround the shoulder injury to Dan Houston and the severe corked thigh Hamish Hartlett suffered, although he did somehow manage to play the game out.
Power coach Ken Hinkley spoke to the media after the game about the injuries:
"Obviously (Houston) has hurt his shoulder," Hinkley said post-game.
"He's in a sling. He tried to come back on, but his wing was ineffective for him. As we do always, we'll pass on the correct information as soon as he's scanned. But I'd be guessing if I tried to tell you what it is now.
"Hamish did a great job. He copped a massive corkie. To be fair, we've had four of them in the last two games. Tom Clurey had one last week, Connor Rozee as well … we've had a number of boys have them."
So for the second week in a row Port was the walking wounded but again they got the result needed to consolidate their win over Richmond the week before. Sitting fourth on the AFL ladder with a 4-1 record is not a bad spot to be but the mounting injuries could be a cause for concern.
It was a potential danger game for Port but again they handled themselves as a professional side should and got the four points. It doesn’t get any easy for Port as they host a St. Kilda side looking to bounce back after their humiliation at the hands of the Tigers next week.
Overall it was a reasonably straightforward night for the Power as they put a poor Carlton side to the sword to keep themselves firmly in the top four.