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Preview: Port Adelaide v Geelong

Matthew Agius  August 8, 2013 3:58 PM

PTV: Last time we played Geelong - R9, 2013 Watch highlights from the Power v Cats clash at AAMI Stadium in Round 9
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The in-form Chad Wingard flies high against the Cats earlier this year

PORT ADELAIDE has the unenviable task of playing Geelong at Simonds Stadium in Round 20, a ground it hasn’t won at for five seasons.

Port Adelaide
Form: WWWWWLLLLLWWWLLWWW
Ranked: 8th

Geelong
Form: WWWWWWWLWWWLWWWLWL
Ranked: 3rd

Last time
An inaccurate Port Adelaide was left to rue its early chances as Geelong skips away to a comfortable 48-point win at AAMI Stadium.

Round 9, 2013: Port Adelaide 9.14 (68) def by Geelong 18.8 (116) at AAMI Stadium

Form Guide
Past 5: Power 0 v Cats 5
Past 25: Power 8 v Cats 16 (Drawn 1)

The fine print
AFL Round 20
Port Adelaide v Geelong
Saturday 10 August
Simonds Stadium
La Trobe Terrace, Geelong Vic
First bounce: 2:10pm (AEST)
Live Social: #pafclive #aflcatspower
Match information
Broadcast guide

The three
1. Chad Wingard
The Chad is great. That’s what every Port supporter in Adelaide has surely thought all week after his stunning five-goal effort against the Crows that helped snatch a win from the clutches of the Power’s local rival. It was no flash in the pan though; Wingard has been up and about all year and his ultra-consistent season will have him in the mix for Port’s coveted John Cahill Medal. He presents a danger to Geelong with the Power’s firing forward line offering a range of small options who can damage the scoreboard. A good showing at Simonds Stadium will do his best and fairest chances no harm.

2. Travis Boak
Local boy Boak hails from Torquay, just out of Geelong, and undoubtedly he will relish the opportunity to play in front of a home crowd. The Port Adelaide captain is enjoying his best season in the AFL and recently broke into the top-40 of the AFL’s Player Ratings. His strong performance against Adelaide featured a superb final term and some excellent clearance and contested ball work. He remains the most important midfielder in the Power lineup right now and he will want to start the final month of minor round games well against the Cats.

3. Alipate Carlile
Carlile has had a solid 2013 at full back for Port and will likely take one of Geelong’s key talls and along with Jackson Trengove is set for a big game. He has added a greater running dimension to his game this season and is able to create opportunities linking up through the middle. 

Final Word
Port Adelaide is the rank underdog for this weekend’s match and there’s no surprise there.

At its best Port can match the best teams of the league, but in this year’s early game against the Cats it was comprehensively beaten.

It had a follow up opportunity against a similar league benchmark in Hawthorn. While it was able to close the margin to two goals at half time against the Hawks, it simply couldn’t hold for the second half.

Playing the Cats at Simonds Stadium is no mean feat; the last time Port played and beat Geelong there was back in 2007 when Dom Cassisi kicked the winner.

Of course, back then, Port’s captain was Warren Tredrea, Mark Williams was still at the helm and six of the current squad of 44 players took the field in that match.

A lot of water (and losses) have gone under the bridge since.

But Ken Hinkley has preached that Port Adelaide will get what it deserves this year and the work ethic of the team, particularly when challenged, has been impressive in the last three weeks.

It responded to late-game lead changes against St Kilda and Adelaide with determined final quarter performances to take the four points on both occasions. So the Power is clearly resolved to see its games through.

The Geelong challenge is that of a well-drilled and experienced side playing on its home turf.

Everyone knows how tough that challenge is.

But Port, like it has done so often this year, is never truly out of any game it plays in, and with the late steals it has managed in recent weeks, could find itself reliving parts of that famous ’07 win.

Current odds
Port Adelaide 6.00 – 1.13 Geelong