Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Port Adelaide V Richmond 24/05/2015 (Adelaide Oval)

Despite Port Adelaide being one of the newer AFL clubs (last to enter before the expansion teams of Gold Coast and Greater Western Sydney. The SANFL outfit it grew out of have over a century of history, but that's another story altogether) there's still some history between it and Richmond.

I don't think I'll ever forgive Mark Williams who was coaching them when Jack Dyer passed away. They didn't wear black armbands to honour him and they beat us one time that season and he wouldn't even let the players sing the song (it sucks anyway) because it was 'only Richmond'. He is now an assistant coach at Richmond, and two of the players who played in that game: Damien Hardwick and Brendon Lade are our coach and assistant. Football, it's a weird game at times.

Despite the win against Collingwood the previous week, I still didn't think we had a lot of chance against Port. Yes, we won and they lost, but that to me was only fuel for the fire. Let's look at what the Tigers were up against: Port have been a contender since Ken Hinkley arrived at the club, they've gone from zero to hero in that time, we got absolutely poleaxed in the elimination final by them last year, they were stinging from the loss to Brisbane, it was at their home ground, which some call the Portress, they can play a lot better than that game, they beat Hawthorn, it was Kane Cornes' (a favourite son of the club) 300th and final game.

On the other hand Richmond obviously wanted to win. The changes we made to the team weren't forced. We had a good style going. The 2014 elimination final aside, we actually have a good record against the Power in Adelaide. Damien Hardwick has a superior record to Ken Hinkley in head to head contests. Our players were in form, theirs weren't.

We were expecting them to throw everything at us and to be honest they didn't. They did go hard, but they were all over the shop. We outscored them easily, it was almost the reverse of the elimination final. They didn't score a goal in the first quarter.

They started the second with a goal and I thought here we go, but we didn't buckle and kept them on the hop, plus continued to score. We lost Ty Vickery to a leg injury early in that quarter, which altered our 3 pronged forward attack and forced us to use the sub earlier than we wanted, but to Damien Hardwick's credit, he didn't panic and continued to pressure Port.

The 3rd quarter was where they might have pinched it. We didn't score, it was barely inside 50. Port peppered their own, but were only able to produce one major. This was largely due to Richmond pressure forcing them to take hard shots.

Sometime in the last quarter we broke their back, and fittingly local Adelaide boy Shane Edwards kicked the sealer, which put us 32 points up (we won by 33) and finished the game before the final siren.

I don't really feel sorry for Kane Cornes. He had a good career and he's never been the nicest of opponents.

I was just bloody wrapped to see the boys sing the best song in the league again.

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