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Five talking points: Port Adelaide v Adelaide

Highlights: Port Adelaide v Adelaide The Power and Crows clash in round three
ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 08:  Eddie Betts of the Crows celebrates after kicking a goal during the round three AFL match between the Port Adelaide Power and the Adelaide Crows at Adelaide Oval on April 8, 2017 in Adelaide, Australia.  (Photo by Morne de Klerk/Getty Images/AFL Media)
With three goals Eddie Betts is Mister Showdown

1. Ryder starts on fire, finishes with a bang
Paddy Ryder continued to remind the AFL how much Port was missing him in 2016 by producing a scintillating first-term display. The athletic bigman had 23 hit-outs to Sam Jacobs' nine in the opening quarter and also pulled in two big contested marks. The effort was no mean feat given the form Jacobs carried in to the contest. To Jacobs' credit he rebounded strongly in the second term, winning the hit-out count and limitiing Ryder's influence around the ground. Ryder had a final-quarter brain fade which could land him in hot water with the Match Review Panel, following a clash with Riley Knight.

Full match coverage and stats

2. Port is fast, but Crows are faster
Port Adelaide took us back to 2014 in the first term when it twice produced two coast-to-coast goals which started off half-back. But, as the game wore on, it was Adelaide which again showed it may now be the best uncontested side in the League. From 15 minutes into the second term through to half-time, Port struggled to get hold of the ball and couldn’t handle the speed of the Crows on the outside, with Charlie Cameron among those who gave Port coach Ken Hinkley headaches. Adelaide produced six unanswered goals either side of half-time and showed just how devastating it can be with its combination of hard inside ball winners and fleet outside runners.

3. Mackay magic sparks turnaround
Adelaide veteran David Mackay won't kick many better goals in his career than the blinder he nailed from the right forward pocket 15 minutes into the second term. Running away from the goals Mackay bent the ball back from the boundary and it would prove a significant moment in the contest. The goal brought the Power’s lead back under a goal and Adelaide took the lead for the first time moments later through Andy Otten. Port made the contest fierce and physical for one-and-a-half quarters but after Mackay's goal the match became more uncontested and the Crows would go to half-time with a nine-point lead. They were further inspired by skipper Taylor Walker, who helped stave off a final term Port challenge with two brilliant goals. 

4. Port comes up short but retains respect
The AFL community wasn't quite sure what to make of Port Adelaide coming into this match. The Power were top of the table but with victories against teams that are still yet to win a match this season. We were always going to get a better idea of whether Port was the real deal after going up against one of the premiership favourites. The Power were exposed during the second and third terms as they struggled to cope with the Crows inside-outside game. But across four quarters the Power was super competitive and pushed for the lead during the final term. 

5. Much hyped contest doesn’t disappoint
It was the first time in history Adelaide and Port had played off in a top-of-the-table clash, and the city of Adelaide worked itself into a frenzy in the build-up. The contest and the atmosphere did not disappoint. The crowd of 53,698 was the largest ever for an AFL match in SA. The Power hosted the match and the noise their fans made as they staged a fightback during the third and final terms was stirring. The Crows were in the unusual position of having the largest ever crowd for an AFL match in SA cheering against them but were good enough to steady against the torrent of pressure. Rory Sloane won the Showdown Medal after a superb 31-disposal effort.

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