PORT ADELAIDE starts its second consecutive AFL finals series as it did last year's qualifying final - against Geelong at Adelaide Oval - but with a different profile and still more to find in its game.

Ranked second after a 17-5 win-loss count in the home-and-away series, Port Adelaide enters the major round with the challenge to further hone its game even after stoically defying the Western Bulldogs with a two-point thriller at the Docklands on Friday night.

"It is a great thing that, internally we believe, we have got more to give; we have not played the perfect game," Port Adelaide defence coach Brett Montgomery said at Alberton on Monday. "We do feel we are in some pretty good form right now ... and it is the right time of the year to be feeling that way.

"It is a nice feeling to have people think we have another gear and we have some more room to grow. But internally we are pretty comfortable with how we are tracking.

"The whole concept of us not being at our best - or us having another gear to go to - (the record shows) we have won nine of our last 10, we finished only a couple of points off top spot and we have rarely conceded any more than 10 goals a game. 

"We are clearly doing a lot of things well."

11:02 Mins
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Brett Montgomery press conference - 23 August 2021 | PTV

Brett Montgomery speaks to the media via Zoom from Alberton.

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Port Adelaide beat Geelong by 16 points - 9.4 (58) to 5.12 (42) - in last year's qualifying final and has a 2-2 win-loss record against the Victorian club during the past three years with three of these games at Adelaide Oval.

The most recent, in round 13, was won by Geelong by 21 points.

Port Adelaide certainly is different by personnel, as noted in the midfield where veteran Tom Rockliff last year played his first AFL final after 200 games and this year Willem Drew plays his first AFL final after just 31 matches.

"We have a lot of people go through that midfield," Montgomery said of the division that seems to run deeper this season. "What we have as a strength at the moment is the numbers that do go there are diverse; in the talents that they bring or whether it size or agility or speed. We do have flexibility at our disposal now.

"Previously, maybe, that was not the case. If we are different or if we are better, it is because we have more flexibility.

"I am not too sure if we are better, but maybe we are a little bit different. 

"One thing for sure is when we were clearly well beaten by (Geelong by 60 points at the Gold Coast in round 12 last year) it was a real 'line in the sand' moment for us. We went away and reviewed hard. We got on top of a lot things; if anything it was the spark we needed to tidy a few things up. 

"The result later in the qualifying final demonstrated that we were much more well prepared for that type of (Geelong) game - and this one is no different. We know a lot about the way Geelong play.

"We are certainly in better form to be able to combat their 'control' game."

Rockliff retired earlier this month recalling Port Adelaide came up with the ideal battle plan to beat Geelong in last year's qualifying final. Same or different playbook this time?

"It is still relevant," Montgomery said of the 2020 game plan. "Geelong's game has not changed enormously. What they do is play a really mature game with some wise heads in that team. They play a game where they feel they have full control over how they attack and how they defend.

"They have been impressive for a number of years, not just right now. We have a fair handle on it ... whether we have the game to challenge them or not, wait and see. But we thought we made the right changes last year for the final; it felt about right. So we don't need to change too much."

The "same-different" theme continues.

Port Adelaide enters this top-eight final series as it did last year's - with a five-game winning streak. The difference this year is no pre-finals bye. And Port Adelaide prefers to keep working to the momentum built from nine wins in the past 10 weeks.

"It sits comfortably with us," Montgomery said of the scrapping of the pre-finals bye set up in 2016. "We are not waiting for players to come off our injury list. We think our game - while we did not get it on our terms in the first six minutes against the Western Bulldogs - is in pretty good shape. We are more than happy to just keep rolling."

04:54 Mins
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Game Film: Round 23 | PTV

A memorable win that has us primed for a September assault.

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Port Adelaide might be forced to one change should scans on Monday afternoon rule out Rising Star forward Mitch Georgiades with a hamstring strain. And the options are far more than Essendon recruit Orazio Fantasia, particularly after Boyd Woodcock collected more than 40 possessions in the SANFL against South Adelaide at Alberton Oval on Saturday.

Fantasia is available for selection after sitting out Friday night's match with hamstring tightness.

"Pleasingly we have other people - whether it be Boyd Woodcock or Orazio who we know is proven at the level or Tom Clurey or Sam Powell-Pepper," Montgomery said. "We have people at our disposal which is great for us. It keeps our list sharp. 

"Whether it be one change or no change depends on the hamstring question with Mitch Georgiades. He will get scanned (Monday afternoon) and the early indicators are it is at the minor end and maybe he does not miss any time at all.

"It is a little bit surprising (that Georgiades still has hope of playing in the qualifying final). But this is the season that has taught us not to be too surprised. Preparation by the players is a lot different to what it has been in the past with fly in, fly out and lounging for five to six hours before a game. It is not ideal ...

"But walking in this morning to hear that at the very least it is at the minor end of a hamstring strain is (reassuring). Let's get it scanned and get some clarity ... but I feel he is half a chance.

"These are good problems (in having multiple options at selection). We are certainly not having to make it up. We have guys pushing for spots and keeping us on edge. That was an outstanding result at SANFL level for us at the weekend."

The qualifying final starts at 7.20pm (SA time).

The winner will advance to the preliminary finals. The loser will have "hosting" rights to a semi-final against the winner of the Sydney-Greater Western Sydney derby elimination final from Tasmania.

Port Adelaide is the only team playing on its home field this weekend.

"It is an enormous (advantage)," Montgomery said. "Just to have our own people (at the game) and to share it with our people is big enough. 

"We have worked really hard to finish where we have. We have taken some criticism throughout the year about not being at our best and having another gear to go to. We win more often than we lose - and we finished really high. We deserve to be where we are."