In what has already been an extraordinary start to the season, Port Adelaide added another page to the increasingly strange tale by sharing a flight home to Adelaide with cross-town rivals the Crows on Sunday night.
The two sides had already shared a resort on the Gold Coast for the past 16 days so what was another couple of hours?
“It was certainly a different experience,” said Port Adelaide General Manager – Football, Chris Davies.
“Luckily, we had the sticky tape down the middle row to make sure that no one crossed either side.
“We got through, we’re back now and we can get back to life in Adelaide.”
While some of the clubs didn’t enjoy the hub experience on the Gold Coast, Port Adelaide had a close to seamless fortnight.
Sunday’s loss to Brisbane put a dampener on what was otherwise the perfect opportunity for the group to reconnect after the COVID-19 enforced segregation over recent months.
“Overall, it was a positive trip,” Davies said.
“Obviously to come away with two wins out of three was not a bad outcome. We’re disappointed with our performance against Brisbane but to beat both Fremantle and West Coast up there was a good start to the year.
“I think the guys took a really positive attitude into it. From the coach, throughout the playing group, we certainly got some bonding done over that 16-day training period and we played some pretty good footy.
“As I say, (we’re) disappointed with the performance against Brisbane, but overall a positive experience.”
And it’s a good thing that Port Adelaide likes Queensland because it’ll be back this weekend and the next to face Greater Western Sydney and Carlton in Rounds 6 and 7.
The game against the GIANTS will take place at Metricon Stadium, where Port is unbeaten in its eight appearances there.
Davies said it would provide the perfect opportunity to respond after the poor showing against the Lions.
“We haven’t lost at Metricon so we’re looking forward to getting back up there and playing against GWS this week and then obviously Carlton at the Gabba,” he said.
“We’ve got our next two weeks mapped out and we’re ready to go.
“GWS are a good team, clearly vying for a spot again in the finals and certainly up the top of the ladder.
“It’ll be a good experience for us and we’ve got to respond to a pretty poor performance against Brisbane.”
While it is unclear what comes after the Carlton game just yet, Davies is certain it will involve plenty of football for Port Adelaide at Adelaide Oval, given it has not played there since the Round 2 win over Adelaide nearly a month ago.
“I think that the AFL’s intention is to provide some home games for both Adelaide teams but specifically for us, we can’t wait to get back in front out our people and play in front of our members at Adelaide Oval – it’s what our guys have been looking forward to,” Davies said.
“But we’ve got a job to get done the next two weeks and once we’ve done that we’ll get back in front of those people.”