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Port biggest winner from finals bye, says Wines

Football

Port Adelaide players expect to be the biggest beneficiaries of the controversial bye weekend before the AFL finals.

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The Power’s mid-season bye came after round eight, meaning they have been in weekly action for longer than any of the eight finalists.

“I have really needed the week off,” Port vice-captain Ollie Wines told reporters today.

“Our first bye was after the Shanghai game which was round eight so it has been something like 15 weeks without a rest and the boys were getting pretty tired.

“Just to have this spell, a couple of days off, freshen up – your body gets a lot out of it.”

Port host West Coast in an elimination final next Saturday night with Wines believing an earlier meeting between the clubs proved pivotal in the Power’s season.

The Eagles won by 10 points at Adelaide Oval in round seven despite Port having a whopping 29 more entries into their attacking 50m zone.

“That was a bit of a turning point for our season,” Wines said.

“After that game, we felt as though we were in the game at all times and controlled it, but our efficiency going inside 50 just wasn’t there that day.

“And that probably triggered a lot of changes for us going forward, that opened our eyes as to how we had to go inside 50… we have had to change the way we do it and we think we have improved.”

The tinkering worked, with Port gaining some revenge on the Eagles in their next meeting – a 32-point Power win in Perth in round 16.

-AAP 

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