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SANFL Preview: Magpies vs Crows

PORT ADELAIDE will face Adelaide in the SANFL Showdown this Saturday afternoon at the Alberton Oval.

The Magpies and Crows both enjoyed the league-wide bye last weekend, except for Magpies captain Cameron Sutcliffe who was involved in Sunday’s SANFL v WAFL State match at Perth’s Optus Stadium.

With two weeks to prepare for the clash with Adelaide, the Magpies go into the match leading the head-to-head battle six wins to four, since the Crows entered the competition in 2014.

Sitting third on the ladder, the in-form Crows came off a spirited, come-from-behind victory over Norwood in Round 6, holding the Redlegs goalless after half time at the Parade.

Adelaide’s small forwards and midfielders look to be dangerous prospects for Magpies coach Matthew Lokan to shut down, with Tyson Stengle, Matthew Wright and Myles Poholke acting as their side’s main avenue to goal this season.

Adelaide’s skipper Wright has been a steady and experienced figure within the young Crows camp, kicking 12 goals, while high draft picks Ned McHenry and Chayce Jones are finding their feet at SANFL level.

Magpies coach Matthew Lokan says this weekend’s contested ball battle will be extremely important in deciding the outcome.

“Our contested game is key, Adelaide have a really good midfield and so do we,” Lokan said.

“I think the game will be won and lost around the contest.

“To be able to get that consistency from not only our mids - we have some really handy mids - but also (consistency) at both ends of the ground is really important for us.”

Port Adelaide strung together two consecutive wins for the first time this season after solid four-quarter performances against Woodville-West Torrens and Central District.

After Port’s experienced players Jack Trengove, Matthew Broadbent and Sam Mayes did much of the heavy lifting in the early rounds, the young Magpies brigade lifted their output over the last month to help the side to a 4-2 record to start to the season.

Tall forward Billy Frampton has kicked nine goals in the last two games, while Tobin Cox had a breakout game against the Bulldogs last week, with four goals to lift his season tally to nine for the season.

Peter Ladhams has been a warrior in the ruck this season and has averaged 29 hitouts, 26 disposals, six clearances and a goal over the last three rounds.

Port Adelaide will take to Alberton Oval against Adelaide at 1.40pm Saturday afternoon in Round 7 of the SANFL.