Hall of Famer
- Dec 7, 2012
- AFL Club
- Port Adelaide
- Other Teams
- Port Magpies, Swamprats forever,
This Saturday night, scheduled for Adelaide Oval at 7.10pm, but with the current Covid outbreak in the eastern suburbs of the Harbour City, it will be confirmed by the AFL after whatever intervention St Nicola deems appropriate. Borders are currently closed to anyone who has been in Waverley council areas; it's a fair bet that a few of the Swans players fall under this umbrella.
At very least, you would expect that the Swans will be subject to the same conditions as the Collingwood and Geelong teams over the past month - 60 hours in hard lockdown, FIFO, and then both teams quarantine for 48 hours. Probably a good reason for them to "manage" Buddy Franklin...
The Swans sit in 6th position on the ladder, a game plus big percentile behind us, but have been one of the surprise packets of the season after finishing 16th in 2020. They picked up some good kids in the 2020 draft, in Logan McDonald and Errol Gulden and Braeden Campbell via their academy, and have had growth from previous draft alumni Sam Wicks, Joel Amartey and Chad Warner. A few of these kids have found the journey onerous, and won't play this game, but their enthusiasm has invigorated the more experienced Swans like Parker, Kennedy, Hayward, Heeney and Dawson. Plus getting Buddy back and playing well; the move of Mills into the midfield and the recruitment of Hickey to hold down ruck, and they must be respected (as wins over Brisbane at the Gabba, Richmond at the MCG and Geelong demonstrate) Countering this, they have lost to Hawthorn, Fremantle and the Gold Coast, so they can be picked apart.
We can and should win this comfortably, despite losing our talisman Robbie for a while. The depth is getting tested, but the wounded are not far away - it will be interesting to see if Fantasia is considered or given another week, but Marshall should return to offset Gray, and Hartlett came in as the injury sub and will replace Lachie Jones in the backline, so we're not decimated. It will start in the ruck; with Lycett looking fresh after his extended break last week taking on Hickey. I can imagine Ladhams getting dropped as the surplus tall, and would love to see Garner get a game. Talk of Dylan Williams seems a bit premature, but he put his hand up at the right time today, so who knows?
Win this, and we're 2 games and percentage clear inside the top 5 (pending the WC/WB result), and with Brisbane playing Melbourne and the Bulldogs going to Perth to play West Coast this weekend, will be closer to claiming a top 4 spot. After this, we have a friendly draw, with only 2 games against top 8 teams remaining (Melbourne here in round 17 and the Dogs at Marvel in round 22). Duursma, Fantasia, Butters, Clurey and Robbie will all be trickling back into the team for the run towards finals, and we will be a better team for their returns.
Port by 24 points