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Big Charlie in doubt for Port


Injured Port Adelaide forward Charlie Dixon remains in doubt but teammate Brad Ebert is expected to return for Sunday’s must-win AFL game against Greater Western Sydney, as the Power chases a shock finals berth.

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Ebert is tipped to return from a one-match absence because of bruised lungs as the club awaits results of scans on Dixon’s injured ankle.

“The club won’t be taking any risks whatsoever with him,” Port midfielder Robbie Gray said of Dixon yesterday.

“He’ll have a test later in the week and we’ll see how he goes.”

Losing Dixon would be a big blow for Port, now just two wins outside the top eight.

The key forward was hurt during Port’s win against North Melbourne on Saturday, the Power’s first triumph over a top-eight side this season.

But brilliant onballer Gray was reluctant to declare the Power back in the finals race.

“It’s a tough question,” he said.

“It (North) was the first top-eight side we have beaten all year so it was pleasing to get that done.

“But we can’t really afford to look too far ahead. We have been pretty inconsistent this year.”

Ruckman Matthew Lobbe returned to action in state league ranks after a lengthy lay-off because of knee surgery, but Port appear likely to stick with makeshift ruck Jackson Trengove for the match against finals-bound GWS.

“Jacko has been super for us this year, probably undersized against a lot of the guys but he just has a crack,” Gray said.

“He gives us a contest and his follow-up work at ground level is really good.”

For the Crows, small defenders Rory Laird and Luke Brown are pressing for selection as the club seeks to end its Geelong hoodoo – but just who would make way remains unclear, with recently promoted running back Ricky Henderson among Adelaide’s best against Collingwood.

Still, Laird (hip) and Brown (groin) appear likely inclusions for Adelaide’s away trip to play in Geelong, where they haven’t won since 2003.

“We haven’t had success down there as a club for a while and we’ll be out to hopefully change that this week,” ruckman Sam Jacobs said of an eight-game losing stretch in Geelong.

Jacobs said there was a reason for the poor record in Geelong: the Cats are a great side.

“That is pretty much the simplicity of it,” he said.

“They have obviously been a great team for a long period of time now.

“But we go down there with full confidence that we’re in good enough form that we feel we can get the win.”

Adelaide are on an eight-win streak which has taken them to second spot. Their last loss was round eight – against Geelong.

In that fixture, the Cats restricted Adelaide to a season-low 72 points – in every other game, the Crows have kicked 97 points or more.

“They defended us really well. We had a look at that straight after the game so I’m sure Pykey (coach Don Pyke) will touch on that going forward this week,” Jacobs said.

“They have obviously got a really experienced half-backline… we will change a few things this week and hopefully it works.

“We always go into the game confident we can get the job done but I guess recent results suggest that we are in pretty good form.”


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