19/05/2024

Orazio Fantasia celebrates one of his four goals. Photo: Port Adelaide FC

Port Adelaide has had an up and down season despite their 8-3 record and will look to cement their position in the top four after their bye.

As we hit the bye rounds in the AFL season, The Inner Sanctum will be conducting our mid-season reviews of all 18 clubs and assessing the first half of the season and what fortunes may lie ahead.

Up next, Port Adelaide.

Snapshot:

Ken Hinkley’s side currently sits at a respectable 8-3 record heading into their bye week. A win over Richmond at Adelaide Oval seemed to have Port in the upper echelons of the premiership conversation. However, losses to Brisbane, West Coast, and the Western Bulldogs have left Port outside of the contender’s conversation for now.

What’s worked?

Port’s off-season recruiting has been a huge plus so far this season with both acquisitions from other clubs adding plenty to the Power’s line up. Up forward, Orazio Fantasia (10 games, 19 goals) has been a good piece of business. Averaging 12 disposals and nearly two goals a game is all you can ask for from a small forward.

Then there is Aliir Aliir (averaging 16 disposals and three intercept possessions). The former Swan has fitted in seamlessly into Port Adelaide’s back six. His intercepting, positioning, and one-on-one work have been outstanding. Almost a lock for recruit of the season already and we are just 11 games in.

What hasn’t

When coming up against the big boys of the competition, Port Adelaide’s forward line has not functioned as it has against the smaller teams. Too often, Port becomes too Charlie Dixon focused. In particular, against the Brisbane Lions, Port was found wanting going forward as their forays were picked off with ease as their attacks were far too predictable.

Far too often this season, Port Adelaide has started games slowly. Against the Bulldogs (six goals to two), Collingwood (three goals to zero), West Coast (five goals to one) and Brisbane (four goals to one) the Power were playing catch up. They lost three of the four games with their win coming in the form of a one-point win over Collingwood. That aspect needs to be fixed and fixed soon.

Best and fairest contenders

Travis Boak (averaging 28 disposals, six clearances), Ollie Wines (averaging 31 disposals), and Karl Amon (averaging 23 disposals) have been Port’s absolute standouts so far this season and would be the top three in the voting.

Who needs to lift?

Young gun Connor Rozee has been out of form so far this season. Although averaging 15 disposals, Rozee has only kicked six goals in 2021 which is incredibly low, given his heights of previous seasons for such a talented player.

Expectations for 2nd half of the season

A lot will depend on the injury situation. With Zak Butters and Xavier Duursma, both expected to return soon, and with 6 games at Adelaide Oval, Port Adelaide should be firmly entrenched in the top eight by the season’s end.

Ladder Prediction

4th

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