AFL 2020: Port Adelaide v West Coast – Round Four Knee Jerk Reaction

Port once again flexed their muscle against a the faltering Eagles on the Gold Coast. What did we take away from this intriguing Round Four encounter?

Has the hub sunk West Coast?

As good as Port Adelaide were on Saturday, the story from this match was the free falling Eagles. The biggest losers in a footballing sense of the COVID-19 pandemic, their time on the Gold Coast has been nothing short of disastrous. While we learned during the week they will benefit from a seven game home stand when they head fly their Queensland coup, will it come to late to save their season.

How the game was won.

While the Eagles came roaring back into contention after a third quarter surge, they were nowhere near good enough for long enough to challenge the inform Port Adelaide. The top of the ladder Power surged out of the blocks and, with Charlie Dixon on fire up forward, took a commanding lead into the half time break.

Feasting on Eagles errors, Ken Hinkley’s men scored 8.8 from intercepts. This combined with an edge at the stoppages was too much for their opponents to handle. This ruthlessness was on full display in their response to West Coast’s third quarter charge. Despite having seen their 27-point half point lead reduced to less than two kicks, they finished the third term having increased the margin to 37.

Josh Kennedy with four goals tried valiantly for the Eagles but his efforts, and those of Brad Sheppard and Andrew Gaff weren’t enough to fully test Port. For the ladder leaders, Charlie Dixon was the star with six goals. Milestone man Brad Ebert, and Hamish Hartlett were also prominent in the Power’s victory.

What the coaches said.

Adam Simpson refused to blame hub life for his team’s woes. “We’re just not clicking and we’re well behind where need to be…and it’s got absolutely nothing to do with where we are (in the hub); you can very clearly separate the two,” he told reporters post match. “It’s consistency, predictability, undisciplined play; we had a go at stages but not for four quarters. Yeah definitely concerned but motivated to get better.”

Ken Hinkley was proud of his team’s effort and laughed off suggestions they had encountered an easy draw. “We’ve beaten four teams in an AFL competition, which suggests you are going OK,” he told reporters. “I just reckon it’s tough, you take wins when you get them….we’ve had a few times when we’ve had the other stuff knocked out of us.”

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PORT ADELAIDE         4.4       6.7       10.11   13.11 (89)
WEST COAST               1.2       2.4       5.4       6.5 (41)

Port Adelaide:
 Dixon 6, Westhoff 2, Ebert 2, Hartlett, Marshall, Amon
West Coast: Kennedy 4, Kelly, Ryan

Port Adelaide:
 Dixon, Ebert, Lycett, Boak, Hartlett, Amon
West Coast: Shuey, Kennedy, Gaff, Ryan

Port Adelaide:
West Coast: McGovern (ankle) replaced in selected side by Schofield

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