Forget great, Port Adelaide was darn near perfect in a stunning opening-term onslaught that set up a 46-point win against inaccurate Fremantle.
The Dockers worked into the match admirably after the devastating opening, but couldn’t overcome the early carnage, the Power easing to an 18.7 (115) to 9.15 (69) win at Adelaide Oval on Sunday.
Ken Hinkley has spoken at length about his team’s need to go from good to great since the Power’s round nine loss to the Western Bulldogs and his charges took a step in the right direction.
The coach has expressed supreme confidence that his side is capable of achieving the greatness it craves at some stage later in the season with some hard work.
But that level of excellence was on display earlier than promised as the rampant Power kicked the first seven goals of the match to romp to a 40-point lead at the first change.
Port couldn’t maintain that dominance, resurgent Fremantle slicing the margin to 31 points at halftime and 28 points at the final change, but there was still plenty to like in a performance spearheaded by Ollie Wines, Karl Amon and Travis Boak.
What slow starts?
The Power’s worrisome slow starts were replaced by a blistering beginning against the Dockers. Port’s opening terms had been a talking point after they were outscored in six of 10 first quarters, and three of the previous four, but Amon was instrumental as the fired-up Power put the visitors to the sword.
Amon led the way with a club-record 16 first-quarter possessions – 12 of those coming in the first 12 minutes – while Charlie Dixon was redeployed to the centre circle for the opening bounce where he set the tone with his physicality. The bullocking forward also booted two goals for the term, as did Sam Powell-Pepper.
The Dockers have lost four of their last five games. (Photo by Mark Brake/Getty Images)Source:Getty Images
Freo returns fire
With tall bookends Matt Taberner (ankle) and Griffin Logue (calf) missing from the line-up, the Dockers were all at sea in the early going, but Nat Fyfe was the catalyst for a second-quarter fightback.
After Fremantle booted eight behinds to start the game, the skipper slammed through the opening goal of the second quarter, with Adam Cerra and Andrew Brayshaw also important as the visitors kicked the last three goals of the second quarter.
Ladhams goes long
The Dockers kept coming in the second half, narrowing the gap to 24 points, but Peter Ladhams booted a critical goal to arrest Freo’s momentum. Running through the centre square, the big ruckman sent a long pass forward that cleared Steven Motlop and bounced through for a goal that helped Port to a 28-point break at three-quarter time.
Fyfe kicked the opening goal of the last quarter, but was robbed of the opportunity for a second when he was awarded a free kick 25m out straight in front. Rory Lobb took the advantage and handballed to David Mundy, who blazed his hurried shot wide.
It proved a costly error, as Ladhams marked on the goal line for his second before Miles Bergman, who was subbed on for the injured Ryan Burton in the final term, made the points safe, kicking a goal with his first touch to push the margin out to 33 points.
POWER 7.5 12.5 14.5 18.7 (115)
DOCKERS 0.7 6.10 8.13 9.15 (69)
PHELAN’S BEST POWER: Wines, Amon, Boak, Houston, Dixon, Powell-Pepper, Gray. DOCKERS: Cerra, Fyfe, Brayshaw, Aish, Mundy, Ryan.
GOALS POWER: Dixon 3, Powell-Pepper 3, Fantasia 2, Gray 2, Ladhams 2, Marshall 2, Amon, Georgiades, Farrell, Bergman. DOCKERS: Fyfe 2, Colyer, Crowden, Henry, Walters, Schultz, Mundy, Lobb.
INJURIES POWER: Burton (hamstring). DOCKERS: Switkowski (leg).
UMPIRES Dalgleish, Johanson, Bryce.
ADELAIDE OVAL 26,759
PLAYER OF THE YEAR
JASON PHELAN’S VOTES
3 O. Wines (PA)
2 K. Amon (PA)
1 A. Cerra (Fre)
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