27/02/2024

Can Port Adelaide win it all in 2023? (Image: @PAFC - Twitter).

Are Port Adelaide a smokey for the flag?

With the AFL season starting to hit the bye rounds, Dan Williams of Trendz took a look at whether the side is a real chance for the premiership in 2023.

“They have been playing some divine football of late,” Williams said.

With a season encompassed by ten wins and two losses so far, Port have pulled off big wins including against Richmond, Melbourne and Essendon. Earlier this year, Trendz predicted that Port would finish sixth this season, but Williams admits that they’ve “surpassed expectations”.

“They’re playing a really solid brand of football,” he said.

“One thing is for certain with Ken Hinkley’s side, is that he has a great knowledge of what his side is really capable of.”

Despite being ranked 15th in the competition (disposals and disposals efficiency), Port Adelaide still managed to be a “heavy territory-based side” according to Williams.

“What you see Port do really well now is when they wrestle that ball back. It’s interesting to note that in the last five rounds, they have been the highest pressure-rated side in the AFL,” he said.

“They work with manic pressure and they get the ball going forward. They know their system, they know their skill set and more importantly, they have a good understanding of what is in the arsenal at Port Adelaide.”

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Port Adelaide’s run home sees them playing the Western Bulldogs this week, who Williams says are “susceptible to pressure”. That’s followed by a game against Geelong and then a bye in Round 16.

They’ll get back into the action the week after when they play away against Essendon, then Gold Coast, before a big clash Collingwood which will be an important game.

Port will round out their season campaign when they face Adelaide, Geelong, GWS, Fremantle and finally Richmond in Round 24.

“[It’s] fairly likely that will lock them into finals,” Williams shared during the video when discussing Port’s run home to the end of the season.

However, pointed out that a home final game could be key to the side’s plans for the flag.

“Home finals could be key for them because that manic pressure, that ability to make it tough and difficult could see them beat a real, good side in a finals conducive system.

“It’s a really exciting time at Port, and if they can keep [this momentum], I feel that there’s something building at Port Adelaide that no side in Melbourne wants to play them.

“Even if [at an away game], bringing 10 to 15 thousand Port Adelaide fans, it could be a killer game and really good for the game.”

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