Port crushes Crows as injuries hit hard

Action from the pre-season Showdown. Photo: portadelaidefc.com.au

Port Adelaide has comfortably accounted for crosstown rival Adelaide by 52 points at Alberton Oval, but the big concern of the day is Crow Wayne Milera.

Milera went down in the second term and was helped off the ground, which the Crows confirmed is a patella injury, which will likely keep him out for the season.

Post-match, Crows assistant Scott Burns said it was a blow.

“Yeah, it’s disappointing,” he said.

“I mean, the fans want to see him playing, when he’s up and going he’s exciting, and he’s a good person too.

“We don’t like having our people miss out on football too much at all.

“And once it’s back to back it’s going to be painful for him. But all we know at the stage, is that he’ll have an operation and the boys will really rally around him.”

For Port Adelaide, young forward Todd Marshall suffered a cheek contusion in a clash midway through the second term also.

The Crows started the game well following two goals from Reilly O’Brien and then ex-Port player Billy Frampton.

Xavier Duursma then steadied the ship with a neat snap for Port, which was followed up by Pete Ladhams, who equalised.

Frampton slotted his second in a busy first quarter, which was then cancelled out by Duursma who converted after a terrific mark.

Harry Schoenberg capitalised on poor error to give his side a five-point lead, but Port hit back hard again.

Marshall would kick a goal and Steven Motlop finished off the quarter with a neat snap to give his side a 11-point lead.

The bad luck began with the Crows when Milera was helped off, while Luke Brown also required assistance after copping a ball straight to the face.

Ben Keays kicked Adelaide’s only goal for the quarter as Port ran riot.

Orazio Fantasia snagged a double while Connor Rozee and Travis Boak added to the scoresheet to blow the margin out to five goals at half-time.

Ned McHenry started the third term in style for the Crows, but Port was relentless.

After a few missed chances, the midfield movement through Zak Butters, Willem Drew, Travis Boak and more became that much more damaging.

Ollie Wines, Charlie Dixon, Tom Rockliff, Duursma, Rozee and Georgiades kicked goals which got the margin out to a game-high 10 goals.

The Crows’ luck was down as Chayce Jones missed a sitter from in front, and Shane McAdam did as well moments later.

However, the drought was over with Taylor Walker converting, which was followed up by Ned McHenry, who looked impressive.

Port led by 48 points at the final break, but the Crows again kicked the first of the quarter, with Ben Keays kicking truly.

Both sides had early chances but it was Port which landed the next blow through Charlie Dixon.

James Rowe would kick his first of the afternoon for the Crows shortly after, and Frampton would snag his third but it was Port’s day on the field.

Dixon booted three for the final quarter, while Drew finished off a terrific performance with a neat major.

Port Adelaide assistant coach Brett Montgomery said he was pleased with Drew’s performance, considering he missed 2020 through injury.

“I thought he was really good, really good, he hasn’t played footy for well over a year,” he said.

“So he starts his journey again, he’s a quality young man, he’s got a quality game that we think can be really important for us.

“He’s got some really strong midfield competition in there, he’s certainly going to push them, whether it’s selection around one or through the year. It’s great to see him healthy again.”

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