Port Adelaide vs Brisbane Lions – Sunday 14/07/19, 4:40pm (Brisbane time) at Adelaide Oval (Port @ $1.62 and Bris @ $2.30)
Brisbane are one of the form teams of the competition currently. Holding the best current win streak in the league (3 wins) and sitting equal third on the ladder. So Brisbane should go into this clash with a lot of confidence. With West Coast and Collingwood squaring off on Friday night, a win here will mean we either end the round equal second on the ladder (with WCE and Coll) or remain 3rd on the ladder, but 4 points clear of Collingwood in 4th place.
For the 7th placed Port Adelaide, a loss here could see them tumble out of the top eight come the end of the round. With a run home that includes some tough games against Richmond and GWS and add to that some potential 8 point games in Essendon, North Melbourne and Fremantle, banking early wins now will really ease that pressure of making the top 8 come the end of the home and away season.
Last Time We Met
Hipwood was the star of the show in our round 3 win at the Gabba earlier this year with a 6 goal haul. He along with Neale (43 touches), Robinson (29 touches) and Walker (23 touches) were arguably our best players that night in what ended up an impressive win; with Port Adelaide stealing the lead for the first time early in the 4th quarter and looking like they could steal the 4 points from the Lions. This was done through the impressive performances of young gun, C.Rozee (5 goals), their captain in T.Boak (35 touches) and S.Powell-Pepper (29 touches). However, a 4 goal surge in the second half of the last quarter helped the Lions overrun Port, who clearly were disappointed with the result after working so hard to gain the lead in that fourth quarter.
A Few Key Matchups
Charlie Dixon v Harris Andrews
There is no height advantage here for either team with Dixon being 200cm and Andrews being 201cm. Strength wise they too they would be pretty evenly matched. So 1v1 this could be an exciting duel. Andrews has the form on the board and is one of the premier tall defenders of the competition now being in All Australian form thanks to his amazing spoiling ability and the continued development of his intercept marking. Dixon on the other is only 3 games into his comeback from injury. His output in those 3 games is been pretty unimpressive, with him kicking only 4 goals and taking 5 marks in total. He is a danger player though, as he is capable of kicking a big haul and taking big contested marks. If Dixon isn't having an impact however, watch for Andrews to really start to go for his intercept marking.
Dayne Zorko vs Robbie Gray
This one match up is more purely on output rather than both playing on one another, as both are big match winners for their respective sides. Both players split their time between the forward line and midfield. Whoever has the better game between these two will go a long way to deciding who wins this match in my opinion. Both are equally capable of 30 disposal, 4 goal games so shutting down both these players will be key to keeping their team in the game.
Lachie Neale, Jarryd Lyons and Jarrod Berry vs Travis Boak, Tom Rockliff and Ollie Wines
These are some of the main contested possession getters for both teams. While Brisbane lost the contested possession count against GWS last week and won, I think losing it again this week would be dangerous and damage our chances of winning, as one of Brisbane’s strengths all year has been scoring from stoppages. If Port can nullify Neale in particular, Brisbane’s scoring power can be blunted greatly.
Charlie Cameron vs Dan Houston
I am not 100% sure on who will line up on Cameron, but I believe it might be Houston. C.Cameron is a big barometer for Brisbane thanks to his speed and creativity up forward, while he isn’t the be all and end all of us winning, he is close. In our 5 losses this year, he averages .80 goals and .40 goal assists a game and in our wins, he averages 2.5 goals and 1.1 goal assists a game. So if he has a big game, we will likely be either close or ahead.
With Hodge and Hipwood likely outs due to injury, Brisbane’s depth could start to get a little test, so it will be interesting to see how Fagan goes with his ins for this week. As was the case last week away from home against GWS, if Brisbane’s midfield can apply a lot of pressure without the ball it will go a long way to giving us a chance away from home. Port are an aggressive ball moving side, so there could be scoring opportunities if we set up well defensively and get them on the rebound.
Boak coming back into Port’s midfield (he was a late out last week) really adds depth in that area for them. So Brisbane’s midfield will need to be switched on and ready for a 4 quarter effort if we are likely to get the “W”. Both teams are top 3 in the league for inside 50 entries per game, so I think the more efficient team at scoring per inside 50 will be the likely winner here.
Should be an exciting game, I'll say Port by 6 points.