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Cats too strong in ANZAC Round with 34-point win

Loukas Founten  April 21, 2018 9:30 PM

ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 21: Robbie Gray of the Power is tackled by Patrick Dangerfield of the Cats during the 2018 AFL round five match between the Port Adelaide Power and the Geelong Cats at Adelaide Oval on April 21, 2018 in Adelaide, Australia. (Photo by James Elsby/AFL Media)

ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 21: Robbie Gray of the Power is tackled by Patrick Dangerfield of the Cats during the 2018 AFL round five match between the Port Adelaide Power and the Geelong Cats at Adelaide Oval on April 21, 2018 in Adelaide, Australia. (Photo by James Elsby/AFL Media)

PORT ADELAIDE has slipped to a second-straight loss after going down to Geelong by 34 points in an ANZAC Round blockbuster.

On a warm night in Adelaide, the Power trailed for most of the night, eventually being blown away in the final term.

The Power had the better of the early stages and Captain Travis Boak almost managed to grab an early goal, however his shot on the run hit the post.

Robbie Gray missed another scoring opportunity before Esava Ratugolea found the goal post as well.

It was left to Geelong’s late inclusion George Horlin-Smith – replacing Tom Hawkins – to boot the game’s first goal, and the Cats soon had two when Patrick Dangerfield converted from a set shot.

Port’s own late inclusion, Lindsay Thomas – replacing Todd Marshall – was involved in the build-up as the Power scored their first.

Charlie Dixon got the ball to ground and drew in a defender before handing it off to Jake Neade, in the side for his first game of the season, to run into the open goal.

The Cats claimed another goal late in the quarter as Sam Menegola kicked truly from a set shot and they held a 12-point advantage at the first break.

It was a poor start to the second term for the home side with Hamish Hartlett coming off second best in a head clash with Dangerfield and needing to be stretchered from the field under the blood rule.

When Lachie Fogarty goaled after a controversial free kick, the margin was out to a dangerous 19-points and the Cats seemed ready to break the game apart.

But to the Power’s credit they fought back with goals to Neade and Thomas – the latter, his first goal in his first game for the club.

The 30-year-old converted a 45 metre set shot from a narrow angle and the goal seemed to lift the Power as they racked up eight of the last eleven inside 50s.

 The intensity level went up a notch with Neade and Westhoff landing strong tackles to bring the crowd into the game.

Thomas was imposing himself on the contest and went in low to bump Scott Selwood, who went off the field with concussion and didn’t return.

Goals to Robbie Gray and Ratugolea closed out the first half, as the Cats took a nine-point lead into the main break.

Hartlett’s return after being cleared of concussion sparked the side early in the third term as the Power took back the lead for the first time since half way through the first quarter.

Ollie Wines roved perfectly off a Charlie Dixon tap to grab the first goal after just 90 seconds before Sam Gray capitalised on his side forcing the ball forward, and some fancy footwork saw him wrong foot a defender to run into an open goal.

The Power had five of the first six clearances but their lead didn’t last long as James Parsons grabbed it back for the Cats with consecutive goals.

Another big bump by Thomas and an impressive defensive mark by Jack Hombsch, in his first game for 2018, lifted the home side and when Karl Amon launched from the paint of 50, the Power was back to within three points.

A late Jordan Murdoch goal on the siren gave the Cats some breathing space going into the final quarter.

Things looked troubling for the home side when Mitch Duncan grabbed another goal and Ollie Wines, at the time the leading possession getter on the field with 25, limped from the field with an apparent knee injury.

The Power needed goals but continuously missed targets inside 50 and the home side failed to boot a major throughout the final quarter as the Geelong defence held firm.

Tom Jonas (21 disposals, 15 marks) worked manfully in defence along with Hombsch (15 disposals, 7 marks, 8 tackles), while Brad Ebert racked up 13 tackles to go with 23 possessions and six clearances but there were few other winners across the field for Port, other than Robbie Gray (31 disposals, 9 clearances, 7 tackles) and Ollie Wines (29 disposals, 6 clearances), who managed to return to the field.

The Cats finished with seven of the last eight goals to consign the Power to its second straight loss, and first at home in 2018.

Joel Selwood was named the Major Peter Badcoe Medallist for his best afield performance.

SCOREBOARD

PORT ADELAIDE              1.2        4.4        7.5        7.8    (50)             

GEELONG                       3.2        5.7        8.10      12.12 (84)              

Goals

Neade 2, R Gray, S Gray, Thomas, Wines, Amon

Best

Jonas, Wines, Ebert, R Gray, Neade, Hombsch, Hartlett

Injuries

Hartlett (cut head), Jonas (cut head), Wines (knee)

Crowd

45,372 at Adelaide Oval

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