Port Power romped to a 78 point victory over a pathetic Melbourne in an unedifying spectacle at a sparsely populated AAMI Stadium yesterday. The Power were on top all day in a match that never reached any great heights and the game was over as a contest as early as halfway through the first quarter.
Daniel Motlop enhanced his flat track bully reputation as he kick started the Power with 3 first quarter goals en route to a haul of 5 for the day. The Burgoyne brothers had an absolute day out with Shaun Burgoyne relishing the captaincy as he did the week before against Collingwood and Peter Burgoyne roamed unchecked for most of the day creating maximum damage in a match that could save his football career.
With the match over early it was a chance to observe individuals and how they approached the task at hand. Melbourne’s Jeff White lumbered through the game ineffectively and he didn’t look to present much value for Carlton next season. His time appears to have been and gone. The same could not be said for Brendon Lade and Dean Brogan who dominated the rucks all day with Lade turning in his second strong performance in two weeks. Lade might not be as mobile as in previous seasons but he can still take a mark up forward and his finishing isn’t bad either as he kicked two goals for the day. With a side with not much strength in the forward 50 I’d be surprised if he moved on at the end of the year. Damon White was noticeably absent from proceedings until well into the fourth quarter and he could well be shown the door.
The second and third quarters of this game was some of the worst football I have seen for not only this season but for many years. Melbourne were negative right from the opening bounce but at least during the first quarter Port played some enterprising football. In the middle quarters Port were dragged down to Melbourne’s level as the Demons upped their work rate. The Demons have a litany of sins at the moment. They don’t man up, they don’t run to create, the forwards don’t want to take responsibility for taking a shot at goal and the skill level is non existent. The Demons are only just entering what will be for them a very long dark tunnel.
Port ended the match with a flourish in the last quarter but confirmed their reputation as an ‘outside’ team of downhill skiers. This game brought four premiership points to the Power but probably not much else. The crowds attending Port games this season must fast becoming a concern for not only the inner sanctum at Alberton but at AFL House as well. To have a crowd of only 18,875 attend a match in sunny conditions with the prospect of a win was in the offing was a poor effort by the Port fans who are voting with their feet in response to Port’s decision to play kids and put the established stars under the knife. This is not the Port tradition and the fans aren’t having it.
Melbourne’s dismal record has now extended to 12 straight losses at AAMI Stadium and it was very difficult to pinpoint their better players. I thought that Wheatley tried hard all day and that Buckley and Sylvia were solid and young Cale Morton again got lots of the ball but again butchered the ball horribly. For Port it was the usual suspects with Lade, Brogan, the Burgoyne’s and Kane Cornes all getting amongst the stats. While Port will challenge again in 2009 it might be a bit longer before this season’s deserved wooden spooners climb out of the bottom four, let alone challenge for the eight.
Port Adelaide – 6.6 9.10 10.17 – 18.21.129
Melbourne – 1.0 2.4 4.8 – 7.9.51
Port: D Motlop 5, Pearce, P Burgoyne, J Westhoff, M Westhoff, Lade 2, Rodan, Cassisi, Boak
Melbourne: Miller 2, Bruce, Wonaemirri, Bate, Jamar, Newton
Port: P Burgoyne, S Burgoyne, Cornes, Cassisi, Lade, D Motlop, Pearce, Rodan, Brogan
Melbourne: Wheatley, Morton, Buckley, Syliva