AFL Round One 2019: Melbourne v Port Adelaide – Five Reasons to Watch

Overview

Round One is finally upon us and for the third game of the round Port Adelaide will be traveling to the MCG to take on Melbourne in the traditional timeslot of Saturday afternoon at the home of football, the MCG. Both clubs supporters will be expecting September action and hoping for a fast start to the 2019 season.


Last Five Meetings

2018Rd 14PA11.9 (75)Melb9.11 (65)AO40,751
2017Rd 18Melb13.10 (88)PA9.11 (65)MCG27,068
2016Rd 21Melb13.16 (94)PA8.6 (54)AO33,426
2016Rd 10PA18.13 (121)Melb10.16 (76)TP5,146
2015Rd 9PA18.7 (115)Melb8.6 (54)TP4,866

Port Adelaide have held sway in recent match ups between the two teams, winning the last match and eight of the last 10. At the MCG however, things have been a little different with Melbourne winning three of the last five matches at the famous venue.


Five Reasons to Watch

Jack Watts Cup

Former number one draft pick Jack Watts will take on his old side for the first time in Melbourne. Jack carried the weight of the world on his shoulders at Melbourne and failed to deliver on his promising junior ability, his first year at Port was a similar disappointment. Is Jack just content on playing out his career at a level below his potential, selling colourful budgie smugglers and instagraming Harlots? Or will he rally and put in a solid performance. Either way it will be interesting to see if the Melbourne faithful put down their cheese platters and let Watts hear their thoughts on his misapplication.


Are Melbourne Premiership Standard

Melbourne have got talent all over the park, key players such as Oliver, Petracca and Brayshaw are entering the prime of their careers, they have the gritty veterans in Jones, Lewis and May. They should be genuine premiership contenders. A strong performance against quality opposition Port Adelaide will show the football world if Melbourne is a serious threat, or if their losing culture from 2007-2016 still haunts them.


Butters Debut

Zac Butters taken at pick 12 by Port Adelaide in last year’s draft looks certain to make his debut in round 1 after only playing 8 games in the TAC last year. Butters is said to be a cheeky character who doesn’t mind a niggle and a player that is known for high impact possessions.  The 2018 draft is touted as one of the strongest ever and after an impressive JLT series from Butters, fans could be watching the first game of a future elite.    


Rocky’s revival

Along with Motlop and Watts, Tom Rockliff did not have the impact that Port would have been hoping for when they signed him as a free agent last Summer. Rockliff averaged 20.6 disposals in 2019 which is the lowest amount since his debut season in 2009. A blistering 43 touches in the last JTL game vs North could indicate a return to the high possession game that saw Rocky win two best and fairest at the lions and make the All Australian team in 2014.  Will Rocky be able to back up his form in round 1? My Supercoach team certainly hopes so.


Waiting on Weideman

Melbourne cannot compete for a flag unless Sam Weideman is ready to make his mark on the competition. Key forwards take longer to develop but coming into his fourth season, now is the time for the Whitefriars college product and 9th selection in the 2015 draft to stand up and play some consistent football. Demon fans would have been delighted at Weideman’s elimination final last year where he accumulated 24 disposals, 7 marks and kicked 3 majors, they will also be keen to see a promising first upstart on Saturday from the young forward. With Jesse Hogan traded to Fremantle and Tom McDonald likely to attract the best defender Weideman could be the key to the Demon’s premiership hopes.  


Prediction

Two teams with a point to prove means this has the potential of being the game of the round. Melbourne, with home ground advantage and a little more polish, should prove too strong though.

Melbourne to win by 36 points.


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