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Most users ever online was 43 on June 6th 2010, 11:21 pm

Forward scout: Port Adelaide

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Forward scout: Port Adelaide




TWO of the AFL’s biggest rivals of the past decade will square off unbeaten on Saturday when the Brisbane Lions travel south to take on Port Adelaide.

The teams were regular finals combatants in the noughties, including the 2004 decider, and have produced a number of classic contests.

Few were more memorable than the last time they met at the Gabba in round 21 of last season, when the Lions turned around a 47-point first quarter deficit to win by 20 points.

Saturday’s contest looms as a beauty with both teams winning their first two matches.

The Lions are coming off tough home wins against West Coast and Carlton, while the Power won first-up against North Melbourne and took care of the Eagles at the weekend.

2010 to date
Port Adelaide has flown under the radar early in the season with its two wins. In round one, they destroyed North Melbourne in the first half before hanging on for a 14-point win, while at the weekend they travelled west and held on for a three-point victory over West Coast.

Again, the Power have shown they can play in spurts but they have ground out both victories - something they had trouble doing in 2009 once they got into an arm wrestle.

The coach
Mark Williams is now in his 12th season at Alberton and still going strong. He has coached an amazing 261 games for the Power at a super impressive winning clip of 56 per cent, including the famous 2004 premiership against the Lions.

Never short of passion or letting players and fans know exactly what he thinks, ‘Choco’ got stuck into a few of his high profile players in the latter stages of last season and his tough love appears to have worked in 2010.

Williams is a master of lifting his team to unlikely victories and he loves nothing more than claiming the Lions’ scalp.

The gun
Kane Cornes is not only Port Adelaide’s most consistent player, he is arguably their best. The tough-as-nails midfielder can play both as a tagger and a ball-winner.

He’s had many enthralling duels with Simon Black over the years so watch for the pair to renew their rivalry. Plays as close as anyone but when he’s freed up to get his own ball, Cornes can be just as damaging, as shown by his 39 disposals in round one against the Kangaroos. He is the ultimate professional.

The sleeper
With Daniel Motlop still on the sidelines, Port Adelaide’s next best game breaker is Danyle Pearce. The silky skilled midfielder is prone to drifting in and out of games, but his performance is usually a good barometer for the Power.

When he goes well, so do they, but when the clamps are put on the 24-year-old, Port Adelaide often struggles. His left foot is like a laser, but Pearce struggled with tags in 2009, so watch for Michael Voss to have a player closely tracking his every move.

The bolter
Justin Westhoff is now in his fourth senior season for Port Adelaide and the Power is expecting big things. He is a lanky 198cm forward who takes a good mark and is difficult to match up.

Despite a stress fracture in his foot disrupting 2009, Westhoff still managed 20 goals from 13 matches and is fresh from a 27-possession, one-goal effort in the round two win over West Coast. Joel Patfull or Brent Staker could be good match-ups for Westhoff.

Strengths
When on song, Port Adelaide is one of the best sides to watch in the AFL with its fast ball movement and free-running game. Peter Burgoyne has retired, his brother Shaun has gone to Hawthorn, and Motlop is still injured, but the Power still has Kane and Chad Cornes, Dom Cassisi, Pearce and Travis Boak to cause trouble in its midfield.

Port also has a varied forward line with veteran Warren Tredrea, youngster Westhoff and small forward Brett Ebert all needing close attention.

Weaknesses
Despite their two wins to start the season, the Power are yet to show they can compete for four quarters with quality opposition. They have a tendency to drift in and out of games.

The Lions have twice fought back from deficits in excess of seven goals in the past two seasons and will never feel they are out of a contest. With some departures and injuries giving the Power a new look from last year, their younger players can be tested with four quarters of intensity. And like most teams, finding adequate match-ups for the Lions’ duo of Brown and Fevola will not be easy.
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Forward scout: Port Adelaide :: Comments

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Post on April 8th 2010, 7:54 am by madman

I would call Kane gun, his kicks are so soft, nice blog though.

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