AHEAD of their meeting in Round 16 of the 2018 AFL Premiership Season we thought we would look back at one of our favourite clashes between Port Adelaide and St Kilda.

The Power went into the Preliminary Final in 2004 having been the best team for three seasons but carrying a finals “choker” tag for failing to capitalise with a Grand Final berth or a Premiership.

The Saints had broken a club record for consecutive wins early in the season but had faded slightly before the finals.

Spearheaded by big forward Fraser Gehrig, the Saints made the perfect start. He booted the opening two goals, the second his 100th for the season, making him the 27th AFL player to boot 100 goals in a season.

What resulted was a field invasion by the crowd which disrupted the game and halted St Kilda’s momentum.

Gehrig was taken off the ground and up the race to escape the crowds and when he returned and play resumed Port’s stand-in skipper Warren Tredrea marked and goaled to kick-start his side.

Roger James was immense in the centre when Port seemingly struggled to stay in touch with the Saints and the game entered a nerve-wracking second half when the lead changed hands several times and the margin was never more than two goals.

It was unfamiliar territory for a Power side which had an average 55-point winning margin in home games in 2004.

The home side broke away to an 11-point lead in the final quarter but the Saints responded and brought the game level.

Desperation from defender Michael Wilson saw him take two courageous and important marks almost in the same spot on the wing before Gavin Wanganeen snapped one of the greatest goals the Football Park crowd had ever seen from 45 metres out on the boundary line to give Port a six-point lead.

In the dying stages, with less than a minute to play, it appeared as though former Power player Brent Guerra would level the scores again but as he ran into an open goal with the ball at his feet, a despairing lunge by Shaun Burgoyne prevented a certain goal and preserved the advantage.

The siren a few seconds later sent the crowd into delirium and sent the Power into its first AFL Grand Final – which it would win a week later against Brisbane.

PORT ADELAIDE       4.0        8.3        10.8        14.10  (94)
ST KILDA                     4.5        7.5        10.9        13.10  (88)


Port Adelaide: W. Tredrea 3, G. Wanganeen, B. Lade 2, K. Cornes, S. Dew, J. Carr, D. Brogan, R. James, J. Mahoney, D. Cassissi
St Kilda: 
F. Gehrig 5, N. Riewoldt 3, L. Ball 2, B Voss, H Black, N. Dal Santo


Port Adelaide: R. James, W. Tredrea, K. Cornes, M. Wilson, P. Burgoyne, S. Burgoyne

St Kilda: L. Hayes, F. Gehrig, S. Powell, R. Harvey, N. Riewoldt, L. Ball

Umpires:  Allen, McLaren, McInerney

Crowd: 46,978 at AAMI Stadium, West Lakes 

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