Port Adelaide ventured to Central Australia on Saturday with clouds of doom overhead. Media analyst, supporters and even the coaches questioning where the season and a port is at?
In the first quarter those questions were being answered in a negative manner, it actually was a performance filled with despair. The Port team looked devoid of run and confidence against a plucky Melbourne Demons outfit. It was hard to see a winner for Port.
Minimal forward entries, a lack of hunger at the contest, the Port midfield being smashed in contested possessions, loss number 6 looked likely. However 5 minutes into the second quarter the momentum was starting to shift. Melbourne had broken away to a 4 goal lead but Port was starting to arrest control. Travis Boak and Robbie Gray started to win the stoppages and hit targets. Brad Ebert and Ollie Wines began to get more influence around the stoppage providing opportunities for run and cleaner delivery.
Enigmatic Matthew White started touching the ball, small Forwards Chad Wingard and Angus Monfries started to look dangerous. Jay Schulz was clunking some marks and kicking truly, which applied score board pressure, with Justin Westhoff waking from his 8 week slumber, dribbling a mercurial goal on half time.
Port had its hunger to win back, physicality around the contest was evident and the boys had a skip in their step. After half time Port flexed it’s muscles how it was anticipated the 3 weeks prior and broke the game apart. It did this with minor tweaks. The main aspect was composure. The players played patient football, rather than panicking and playing on at all costs the players held possession and hit up targets. This allowed our forwards to get in front of the ball carriers and it also allowed us to work players into space.
The space resulted in a goal flurry. However where does this leave us? Is Carlile injured? He’s no where near peak form and has been beaten convincingly the last two weeks. With key stopper and Ruckman Trengove and Ryder out and replaced with smaller players are we too tall? Can we afford to go back to our 2013 habits of disappearing for quarters in a game and be successful in 2015?
The questions answered are Hombsch is a quality defender and most inform key back. Travis Boak lifted as skipper and drove his team to success. Robbie Gray is a super star and Angus Monfries a much underrated forward. Westhoff can deliver the goods but we need conisistency!
The season is far from being back on track but this surely is a step in the right direction.
The thoughts of this article of Rick Nieuwenhoven and do not represent views of any organisation. You can hear more of Rick on Portfanradio Monday and Thursday nights live from 8pm.