Connor Rozee at Port Adelaide training (Image: The Inner Sanctum)

Tonight, all eyes turn towards Adelaide Oval for Showdown 55 and the first ever to take place on a Thursday night.

Adelaide will host Port Adelaide in an important game for both teams, not just for bragging rights. The Crows are looking to get their season back on track after a convincing win over North Melbourne last week, while the Power are aiming for their sixth victory in their pursuit for a top four finish.

Both captains spoke about the upcoming game on Tuesday, with Jordan Dawson and Connor Rozee sharing similar views.

“It’s a big game for both,” Dawson said.

“It’s always a tight, contested game, both teams expect that.

“The ledgers at 27 a-piece, these games are always close.”

“These are games you look forward to at the start of the year,” Rozee said.

“I’ll make sure the boys are up and about this week.”

Despite sustaining a minor hamstring injury last Friday against St. Kilda, Rozee has been named to play in tonight’s Showdown and opened up about it.

“I did some testing today [Tuesday] and got through everything,” he said.

“The scan showed a little niggle, but that wasn’t part of my main muscle. I don’t know the science, but apparently that’s good.”

“I’ve been pretty lucky with hamstrings,” Dawson said when asked for his opinion on the matter. 

“I sure if he [Rozee] is feeling up to playing, then he’ll play. If there’s any danger, you probably wouldn’t risk it. I’m sure he’ll make the right call.”

Two players that won’t feature for Port Adelaide tonight are Allir Allir and Sam Powell-Pepper, who were both hit with very contrasting injuries last week. Allir will miss through concussion, while Powell-Pepper tore his ACL and will sit out the rest of 2024.

“Its disappointing that we’ve got Pep [Sam Powell-Pepper] and Allir [Allir] that have gone down,” Rozee said.

“Its a weird one, you’re obviously proud of the boys for how they finished the game with one on the bench.

“However, you’re disappointed with the long-term injuries, especially Pep.”

On the injury front for the Crows, Luke Pedlar is also sidelined for the rest of the year after suffering a shoulder injury against North Melbourne.

Dawson is confident Pedlar will return fit and firing, while also indicating the significance of last week’s 57-point victory.

“He’s [Pedlar] a bit of a bull up forward for us,” Dawson said.

“It’ll be disappointing for him, but I’m sure he’ll be able to recover and get the best out of himself for [the rest] of the year.

“It was important for us to get back to playing the way we want to play.

“We got back to playing our brand of footy, front half footy.

“I think that’s all we could ask for last week.

“We’re looking to back that up this week, I think its a game that can kickstart our season.”

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Adelaide have also named a debutant for tonight’s Showdown, with Western Australia’s Daniel Curtain to don the Crows jumper for the first time. Dawson spoke about last year’s pick eight of the draft, praising his work so far.

“He’s been a massive worker since he got to the club,” Dawson said.

“He’s got plenty of tricks, he’s a talented and hardworking guy.

“His ball use, his ability to play on talls and smalls. His skillset as a whole is pretty impressive.

“To see him execute his roles at SANFL level really well, that’s just gonna complement our backline and our group.

“He’s a very mature guy for an 18-year-old.

“We’re really excited to see what he can bring.”

Showdown 55 begins tonight at 7:00pm ACST

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