Saints forward Tom Lee takes a mark against Port Adelaide
PORT Adelaide draftee Jarman Impey looks set to debut in the side's round one game against Carlton next weekend after a polished display in Saturday's practice match against St Kilda.
The Power's first pick (No.21) at last year's NAB AFL Draft was composed and courageous on his way to 19 disposals, his defensive pressure on show as the Power overcame a slow start to finish nine-point winners.
Port Adelaide coach Ken Hinkley said Impey's selection on Saturday meant he was a serious chance to debut next weekend against Carlton.
"I think anyone who played today's a good chance to play," Hinkley said.
"I thought Jarman done some really strong things, I thought the whole backline together over the last three or four weeks without 'Jacko' (Jackson Trengove) and 'Bobby' (Alipate Carlile) there have been pretty strong."
Vice-captain Brad Ebert was in brilliant touch with 24 disposals and three goals, while second-year player Ollie Wines (23 possessions) and Angus Monfries (21) were also influential.
St Kilda midfielders Lenny Hayes (26 possessions, two goals), Jarryn Geary (22) and Farren Ray (19 disposals, two goals) were their side's best, while South Australian draftee Luke Dunstan shone with 20 touches, eight clearances and a goal.
The only genuine injury concern from either side was a calf strain to Port's Paul Stewart.
Hinkley said it would likely see the forward miss the club's first-round clash next Sunday but that several key players were set to return.
"He'll be in some doubt…Paul would be the one who would be in some doubt," he said.
"But Trengove, Carlile, (Jay) Schulz and (Robbie) Gray will be available for round one."
It was another scrappy start for the Power and, while Essendon failed to make them pay on February 25, the Saints had no such difficulty as they booted seven first-term goals.
The home side was far cleaner with the ball in the second term and, although the Saints continued to dominate centre clearances (35-13 at half-time), Port hit back through skipper Travis Boak – the first of four unbeaten goals.
Saints Hayes and Ray found no issues in getting their hands on the ball (14 touches apiece to half-time) and both goaled to keep the Saints in front.
After slotting a remarkable checkside goal in the second quarter, John Butcher's miss from 20m out straight in front in the third term drew sighs of disappointment from a vocal home crowd.
An unselfish handball from Aaron Young to Butcher in the goalsquare secured him his second and when former skipper Dom Cassisi kicked his second major the Power were in front.
A 50m penalty to Butcher meant he wasn't required to take another nervous shot at goal and made no mistake from point-blank range.
The margin threatened to blow out in the final term when Boak and Ebert both kicked goals, but late majors to Hayes and Shane Savage ensured the Saints remained in touch until the final siren.
PORT ADELAIDE 3.0 9.1 14.5 18.7 (115)
ST KILDA 7.2 10.5 13.6 16.10 (106)
Port Adelaide: Butcher, Ebert 3, Cassisi, Westhoff, Boak, Hartlett 2, Broadbent, White, Young, Wingard
St Kilda: Armitage 3, Riewoldt, Hayes, Savage 2, Dunstan, Ray, Curren, Maister, Stanley, Lee, Minchington
Port Adelaide: Ebert, Wines, Monfries, Polec, Cornes, Impey
St Kilda: Hayes, Geary, Dunstan, Ray, Armitage, Montagna
Port Adelaide: Stewart (calf)
St Kilda: Nil
Umpires: Fleer, Pannell, Ryan
Crowd: 6,000 (approx.) at Alberton Oval