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AFL match preview: Round 13 vs Western Bulldogs

Loukas Founten  June 14, 2018 12:25 PM

BALLARAT, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 19: Luke Dahlhaus of the Bulldogs and Darcy Byrne-Jones of the Power compete for the ball during the 2017 AFL round 22 match between the Western Bulldogs and the Port Adelaide Power at Mars Stadium on August 19, 2017 in Ballarat, Australia. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Media)

BALLARAT, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 19: Luke Dahlhaus of the Bulldogs and Darcy Byrne-Jones of the Power compete for the ball during the 2017 AFL round 22 match between the Western Bulldogs and the Port Adelaide Power at Mars Stadium on August 19, 2017 in Ballarat, Australia. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Media)

PORT ADELAIDE has a poor record in Thursday night football, winning just two of seven matches, but the Power still goes in as favourite against a Western Bulldogs side which has lost its past three games. 

The last time the sides played, it was a historic occasion with the first AFL game played for points in Ballarat ending in a 17-point win to the Power. 

While the Bulldogs won seven consecutive matches against Port between 2007-13, since then the sides have had three wins each. 

Tonight’s clash will be the 28th time the sides meet with the Power having won 14 games to 13 overall. 

The only time the Bulldogs have won at Adelaide Oval in five attempts was in a three-point thriller against Port in Round 12, 2016. 

Power forwards Justin Westhoff and Robbie Gray each need one goal to draw level with Jay Schulz on 275 goals for the club. Only Warren Tredrea has more (549). 

Westhoff is due to play his 113th consecutive game – the second longest current active streak behind Geelong’s Zach Tuohy (127). 

The teams

Despite coach Ken Hinkley’s preference to reward a winning side, the match committee has made three changes to the team that beat Richmond last Friday. 

Tom Jonas (hamstring) misses out, along with the omitted Jack Watts and Jake Neade. 

Into the side comes Jack Hombsch, Todd Marshall and Lindsay Thomas, with each showing impressive SANFL form. 

The Western Bulldogs have made four changes with key back Zaine Cordy (concussion) to return to the side after missing the Round 11 loss to Melbourne, while Mitch Wallis, Lukas Webb and Shane Biggs have all earned a senior recall. 

Tory Dickson (hamstring), Matthew Suckling (achilles) and Dale Morris (knee) are unavailable and Jordan Roughead has been omitted. 

The last word

Ken Hinkley

“The Bulldogs are going to come and they’ve been able to cause problems for other teams.

“We’re desperate to do well.

“Conditions are going to make it a real slog so you’re going to have to be the hardest working team and the strongest team in the competition (on Thursday) night.

“For us it’s about what we do… it’s always about what we do and we want to see some unconditional effort.”

Luke Beveridge

"We'll learn off playing in the wet a few weeks ago, we'll have quite a different make-up going into this game again, because of injury once again, so it's a chance to perform with a different mix again.” 

“We learnt a bit from the Adelaide Crows experience in that we probably did a few things wrong.  

“One of the quite basic things that I think Richmond (did well) against Port in their recent match, was that handling the ball cleanly and being able to possess it straight away and play the territory game, if you don't handle it cleanly, you don't spend enough time over it, and then whatever you want to do with the footy goes out the window. 

"There's some (selection) considerations based on how they set up and how we went in last time.

“We're not overly tall when you compare us to some of the other sides in the competition, but the conditions and the way Port like to roll with their taller lads, it's been a talking point in match committee."

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