A 4,298-strong crowd was treated to an entertaining contest with some real physicality at Alberton on Friday. Image: Brandon Hancock.

PORT ADELAIDE has come away victorious in a solid pre-season match simulation session against Adelaide.

In a twilight encounter played across six periods at the redeveloped Alberton Oval, the Power finished 22 points in front with a number of players impressing as the battle for Round 1 spots continues.

While most of the Port Adelaide squad played no more than four quarters and ten players were removed after the third period, it was an even contest with both sides enjoying periods of momentum with the Power winning 21.12 (138) to 17.14 (116)

And despite it being an unofficial pre-season hit-out primarily used to try players in new positions, test the game plan and get minutes into individuals, the 4298-strong crowd was treated to an entertaining night with some real physicality.

The Crows started strongly, making the most of a swirly breeze to boot the first two goals of the contest through Riley Thilthorpe and Darcy Fogarty from almost identical positions in the pocket.

After Charlie Dixon marked strongly over the top of an opponent and kicked truly, things heated up as Mitch Hinge dumped Zak Butters and Sam Powell-Pepper met Crow Mark Keane with brute force to send the Irishman off the field.

Dixon was one of the early goal scorers for the Power. Image: Brandon Hancock.

Butters was starting to get more of the ball through a midfield alongside fellow mids Ollie Wines and Connor Rozee and Port controlled the back end of the first period, and goals to Jed McEntee and Rozee saw Port hold a five-point lead at the first change.

Playing forward, former leadership player Darcy Byrne-Jones made the opening stages of the second term his own with two snapped goals in the first four minutes – the second after Hinge dropped the ball directly into his path.

Powell-Pepper then got in on the act, bursting through a ruck contest without breaking stride to dribble home a classy goal, and when Willie Rioli was taken high and snapped home the resulting free kick, Port’s lead was out to 19 points.

A couple of late goals to Ned McHenry and Josh Rechelle had the Crows back to within ten points at the second break.

Majors to Fogarty and Thilthorpe made it four in-a-row for the visitors but a long bomb by Ryan Burton put Port back in the lead.

The sides continued to trade goals, including a second for Burton from an identical position 55 metres out and a neat set shot by Jeremy Finlayson getting his first minutes of the pre-season after missing the intra club a week earlier with shin soreness.

A controversial late goal to Izaak Rankine, after Travis Boak could have been adjudged to have been pushed in the back by Taylor Walker saw the margin cut to just five points after three periods.

Rozee and Finlayson celebrate a goal at Alberton on Friday. Image: Brandon Hancock.

Port rang the changes for the fourth period, taking Dixon, Butters, Wines and Esava Ratugolea off among ten players withdrawn from the game.

That allowed a host of other players to take the field for the first time - including Dante Visentini, Josh Sinn and Mitch Georgiades - as the lights kicked in at Alberton.

The teams again went goal for goal throughout the term, with Port maintaining a narrow lead. The biggest cheer of the evening came when Georgiades booted his first goal deep into that fourth period after marking a chiselled pass by draftee Tom Anastasopoulos on the lead.

Georgiades would continue to press his claims for a Round 1 berth with two more goals across the final two periods – his third on the run from 45 metres out perhaps the best of the bunch.

Mitch Georgiades kicked three goals as he pushes his case for Round 1 selection. Image: Michael Sullivan.

Not to be outdone, young tall Tom Scully had a real purple patch in the fifth period, booting three goals of his own and showing significant growth and development following a strong off-season.

Dante Visentini also impressed in the ruck, supported by Scully at times, to continue the debate about Port’s best ruck option and Trent McKenzie, returning from a hamstring injury, looked composed in defence.

While the sting had mostly come out of the game with most of Port Adelaide’s experienced players hitting the showers for the final two periods, Ollie Lord continued to muscle his way through the Crows’ defence, sparking some feeling in front of the bowling club.

The closing stages also provided a chance for a host of SANFL-listed players to get some time on the ground.

As the game came to a conclusion and with Port holding a comfortable lead, the only concern for the team from Alberton was seeing first-year forward Lachie Charleson come from the ground on crutches after suffering an ankle injury.

Port Adelaide will next face Fremantle at Alberton Oval on Friday night in an official pre-season game as part of the 2024 AAMI Community Series.



Port Adelaide   3.1       7.3       11.5     14.9     (93)      19.11    21.12    (138)

Adelaide           2.2       5.5       10.6     14.9     (93)      15.12    17.14    (116)

Goals: Scully, Georgiades 3, Byrne-Jones, Powell-Pepper, Burton, Rioli, Rozee 2, Dixon, McEntee, Finlayson