Port Adelaide returns from their Canberra outing ready for a tough test against last year’s Grand Finalists Fremantle this week.
With full forward jay Schulz coming off his sick bed to bag six goals and the successful return of Angus Monfries, Port can continue to build its reputation as an Adelaide Oval powerhouse.
Schulz fought through a viral infection to bag six goals and help down a dogged Greater Western Sydney by 35 points on Saturday.
The surprisingly high-scoring 20.12 (132) to 15.7 (97) victory in front of 6549 fans at a wet Manuka Oval was Port’s fourth straight win of the season and the Giants’ fourth consecutive loss.
According to Port coach Ken Hinkley, Schulz was lucky to be out on the field, let alone bag half a dozen goals – four of which came in the final quarter.
Alipate Carlile and Hamish Hartlett were unable to take the field due to the same viral infection, yet “Schulz to his credit went out and played”.
“We only made the decision at 10am,” Hinkley said,
“We waited for him to get up and out of bed, and to be honest he looked a bit pale.
“But in the end there were two already missing. That would have made it really disorganised as far as structure went.”
Despite Schulz’s fourth quarter blitz, the Giants narrowly won the final term, but lapses in the second quarter and late in third came back to haunt them.
“They’re a quality side. They just punish you,” Giants coach Leon Cameron said.
“When we have a lapse in concentration or a fundamental error, they just pounced on it.”
The Power’s Angus Monfries (three goals) was back to his dangerous best in his first match since injuring his hamstring in round three, while Hinkley nominated Jared Polec (three goals, 30 possessions) best on ground.
Meanwhile, Devon Smith (three goals) took the lion’s share of scoring for the home side and Callan Ward (40 possessions) was also very strong.
GWS flew out of the blocks in the cold and wet conditions, leading for most of the first quarter courtesy of early goals to Jeremy Cameron, Rhys Palmer and Will Hoskin-Elliot.
Yet their early bravado was short-lived.
Port kicked into gear with seven straight goals to earn a 32-point halftime lead.
It took Monfries just 11 minutes to make an impact in his return, kicking back-to-back goals to negate the Giants’ early lead – Polec then bagging two of his own.
The Giants found a second wind midway through the third quarter, Jonathon Patton kicking two goals to cut the deficit to 20 points.
However Port put on the afterburners with three late third-quarter goals through Wingard and White to lead by 39 going into the final term – when Schulz put the final four nails in the coffin.
The win won’t be enough to keep Port at the top of the ladder, after Hawthorn’s demolition of St Kilda by 145 points earlier on Saturday to leapfrog the Power on better percentage.
Port plays Fremantle this Saturday at Adelaide Oval.
Leon Cameron also revealed that Jeremy Cameron will miss the Giants’ clash against West Coast next week as he won’t be able to fly to Perth due to his recent surgery to implant an artificial eardrum.
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