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Power shut down reigning champs

Harry Thring  March 16, 2013 11:27 AM

AFL 2013 NAB Cup Rd 04 - Port Adelaide v Sydney

Adam Goodes feels the Power from Port as Justin Westhoff gets clear

Regardless of the result, it was how we went about it and today we were again really strong
A HARD-EDGED Port Adelaide has accounted for the Sydney Swans in the club's last tune-up before the premiership season begins.

The Power stunned the Sydney Swans at AAMI Stadium, matching the reigning premiers at their own game to race home 30-point winners, 15.12 (102) to 10.12 (72).

After winning last year's flag and establishing itself as the AFLs toughest side, the Swans were pushed and ultimately defeated by a new-look Power outfit that last year wouldn't have kept up with such opposition.

While it was an ugly game, the stats were telling; the Power led the Swans in contested possessions 145-138 and inside 50s 54-43, while tackles were almost even at 77-78.

But more than knocking off the reigning premiers, Hinkley said it was the consistency of his side's performance after last week's win over West Coast that pleased him most.

"The performance off the back of last week I think [is what I was looking for] it was really important for us to back up last week's game," he said.

"Regardless of the result, it was how we went about it and today we were again really strong."

Swans coach John Longmire was hesitant to praise his opposition too much, claiming it was too early in the year to really offer any judgment.

"I thought they were pretty sharp … it's really hard to measure, it's not until you get well into the season that you actually get a feel for it," Longmire said.

The reigning premiers looked sharper and more dangerous when in possession early, but missed a host of opportunities to go ahead, booting 3.5 in the opening term.

Port Adelaide on the other hand made the most of any chance it got, kicking four goals straight to take a narrow lead into the first change.

Adam Goodes was held to just one handball by Tom Jonas in the first quarter but exploded in the second, to finish the half with 13 disposals.

He ended the match with 19 disposals and two goals.

Josh Kennedy registered a triple-double with 34 disposals, 10 tackles and 11 clearances but each time the Swans looked like kicking away the Power responded, moving the ball quickly and with far greater confidence than it has for the past 24 months.

Power captain Travis Boak was outstanding for the home side with 29 disposals and three goals, as was Brad Ebert (25 touches and a goal).

It was a confidence-boosting performance from Jasper Pittard too, who was prolific off half-back with 25 touches and 10 marks.

Exciting Power forward Jake Neade was lively early, setting up Pittard with some slick play, while Boak and Hartlett were both superb from the outset.

Longmire said the Swans needed to fine-tune a few things in order to hit round one running.

"We need another couple of strong weeks of training to make sure we're competitive in that first couple weeks because we know we need to be," he said.

In his comeback game, injury again struck Power forward John Butcher, who could have a cracked bone in his hand.

It's another setback in a long line of injury problems for the 21-year-old, but Hinkley didn't think the latest issue would keep him from round one.

PORT ADELAIDE      4.1    7.5  11.6   15.12 (102)                  
SYDNEY SWANS        3.5   4.7   9.11   10.12 (72)          

Port Adelaide:
Boak 3, Mitchell, Young 2, Pittard, Brad Ebert, Lobbe, Wines, Thomas, O'Shea, Colquhoun, Stewart
Sydney Swans: Goodes, Parker 2, Jack, Malceski, McGlynn, White, Bolton, Reid

Port Adelaide:
Boak, Brad Ebert, Hartlett, Stevenson, Pittard, Colquhoun
Sydney Swans: Kennedy, McVeigh, Malceski, Jack, Parker, Goodes

Port Adelaide:
Butcher (hand)
Sydney Swans: Roberts-Thomson (tight calf)
Reports: Nil

Umpires: Ryan, Hay, Fila, Fleer

Official crowd: 5,042 at AAMI Stadium