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Five talking points: Port Adelaide v Melbourne

Highlights: Port Adelaide v Melbourne The Power and Demons clash in round 21
ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 13: Chad Wingard of the Power with medical staff after injuring his hamstring during the 2016 AFL Round 21 match between Port Adelaide Power and the Melbourne Demons at the Adelaide Oval on August 13, 2016 in Adelaide, Australia. (Photo by AFL Media)
Chad Wingard will most likely be rested for the rest of the year

1. Melbourne exorcises another demon of its own
The Demons flew to Adelaide with an away record from hell against the Power, having lost their previous 11. But after knocking off flag favourites Hawthorn last week this appeared a determined Melbourne outfit from the opening bounce. Its 19-point quarter-time lead was its best ever playing away against the Power. It got better too; the Demons’ 37-point half-time lead was its best away against any side since 2011. Port fought back in the third but Melbourne kicked away late to snap the lengthy losing streak in impressive fashion.

Full match coverage and stats 

2. Lobbe back but Gawn too good
Ruckman Matthew Lobbe returned to the senior side on Saturday night but was forced to start the game on the bench as Jackson Trengove continued his role in the middle. He was inserted into the game at the 12-minute mark of the opening term, but his time away from the top flight was apparent with opponent Max Gawn dominating the position. The two exchanged jumper punches at three-quarter time, but it was Gawn laughing all the way to the final siren with 48 hit-outs and 16 possessions to Lobbe’s 14 and six. 

3. Wingard clipped
After booting his side’s opener on Saturday Chad Wingard ran to a contest on centre wing and moved to accelerate away from it, looking to receive possession. But his right hamstring gave way high up the leg and he was still limping heavily when he emerged from the rooms. The injury caps a disappointing year from the star - whose struggle to impact games in attack has been heavily decided by the form of the side higher up the ground. With just two games remaining in 2016 Wingard won't be risked again. "It's a significant injury," Ken Hinkley said after the match. "He obviously won't play any more football this year."

 

4. Port’s cruise too early?
The Power looked so slow and disinterested in the first half against Melbourne that four-time best and fairest winner Kane Cornes questioned whether they had mentally switched to ‘holiday’ mode. Cornes made the comment on commercial radio in Adelaide, and while the side lifted in the second half, the damage due to its lacklustre start had already been done. Port was easily beaten in contested possession (148-125), a telltale sign the Demons wanted it more. 

 

5. Palmer gets his shot
Inserted into the senior side with coach Ken Hinkley looking to see what Port’s young players have to offer, Jesse Palmer had the unique chance to join the ‘goal with first kick’ club, but snapped it wide. The 19-year-old missed another shot later in the game and while his 12-possession game wasn’t disastrous, Power fans didn’t get to see the form that put him in selection calculations to begin with. Still, he’ll be better for the experience and with two games to go Hinkley would hope to see more from the teenager, and he’d also hope the forward receives better help from his teammates.

The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs