Rd 15 Sydney v Port Adelaide at SCG 12.40pm SA Time
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Last Time At This Ground
Port were in the midst of their best season yet and hit a Swans stumbling block that started them off on a path of three straight losses mid-season, a bad patch in what was otherwise a successful season and ultimately cost them a home qualifying final. It will also be remembered as the game where the club lost one of its starting 22 in Michael Wilson to a knee injury that kept him out for the rest of the season. Port looked tired and rattled as they struggled to handle the congestion around the ball and were defeated by a margin of 47 points.
Sydney has come off a good win against Freo only to fall 10 points short of Hawthorn at the MCG under the reigns of caretaker coach Paul
Roos. I would expect the improved Swans to put up a big fight on home turf but can't see how they will be able to contain Port Adelaide who has winners all over the ground.
Don't think the club or Port supporters will be taking this Sydney game lightly. Sydney at the SCG is still a tough game and past game results show that Port has only won there the once since it joined the AFL, but on current form one would expect Port to come away with the points.
The Port Adelaide side this year is very different from the side that took on the Swans last year.
After the Power's poor start with two losses (Kangaroos and Melbourne) to begin it's home and away season, I had envisaged Port could drop a few of their away games, especially against the Hawks in Tasmania and Essendon at Colonial but that didn't happen. Even the round 14 match against Freo had me a bit worried but that game proved to me that the players have grown as a group over the past few months and their maturity and confidence should hold them in good stead between now and the finals.
No doubt the trip to Perth could take the edge off the Port players fitness but I think the club will be looking at freshening up the boys as they notch up more frequent flyer points over the next two weeks in what is probably their toughest assignment for the season - from Perth to Sydney and then Melbourne.
Port will be forced to make one change this week after back-up ruckman Barnaby French was given a two week holiday at the tribunal. Brent Guerra, who was dropped from the Power squad to get a full game under his belt in the South Adelaide reserves also found himself on report in the SANFL but the charges were later dropped. He was unable to complete the match because of concussion he sustained during the game and is in doubt for round 15.
Power coach Mark Williams stressed recently that he will try to blood some of our youngsters between now and the finals and Toby Thurstans and Adam Morgan are two players that will come under close consideration this week to take French's place.
A win this week would put us at 12-3 and pretty well assures us of a finals spot. I wouldn't take this game lightly, but I don't think I can give the Swans much hope of winning it. I'll tip Port by 35+.
WHAT THE SUPPORTERS SAY
If Port really are premiership contenders this year then they really should be able to put away a rabble Swans unit without too much hassle at all. Port have won their last 7 matches by an average of 56 points and for all intents and purposes, with the way the Swans have been travelling this season, we should see another large victory coming our way. But despite Port being in best ever form and Sydney looking like a rabble for most of the year, this game will prove to be a tough ask for the Power. Port do not, and have never played the SCG well. One win in
five visits shows this. Port were in best ever form last year when we travelled to the SCG and Sydney sent us home with our tails between our legs after an 8 goal drubbing. So despite both teams relative fortunes so far this season, this game won't be the one sided Power victory
I'm sure many media personalities will predict. Having said that however, I do believe Port will end its SCG voodoo with a 5 goal victory on the weekend with
Tredrea, Francou and Nick Stevens continuing their awesome form.
Black Diamond says:
Holding the Power down at the moment is like carrying your shopping in one of those plastic bags that has a tiny split in it. You know at some time the weight of what's inside will tear the bloody thing, and everything will come tumbling down. But when? It may never happen at all. It's just that every time I've gone shopping recently,
We just gotta beat them. I do not like the phone calls from Sydney from all the in laws when we lose over there. C'mon boys I need a break WIN WIN WIN. Please no injuries again like Wilson last year. I think that we have a real chance if Francou and Stevens can get the ball from the gorgeous
Matty. It is so small the ground, so we could get a big score. They just have to keep their minds on the job.
I reckon we'll win easily. My fiance's a Sydney supporter and we have a bet riding on this match....yet in one of his tipping competitions he's actually taken Port to win! Port will beat Sydney, we have to get them back for that match last season.
The Power, in order to win, will need to shut down Barry Hall. Now with Darryl Wakelin being in top form, this shouldn't prove a hard task.
Resultantly, the half-back line should get a lot of run through the midfield as usual, hopefully quick enough as to not allow the Swans to flood it like they did last year.
Who will get Warren Tredrea? Dunkley or Saddington? In the words of the Rock: IT DOESN'T MATTER!!