Main content

Match report: Power show lights up China

Highlights: Gold Coast v Port Adelaide Watch the Suns and Power clash in round eight
SHANGHAI, CHINA - MAY 14: Brendon Ah Chee of the Power and Keegan Brooksby of the Suns in action during the 2017 AFL round 08 match between the Gold Coast Suns and Port Adelaide Power at Jiangwan Sports Stadium on May 14, 2017 in Shanghai, China. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Media)
Gold Coast late inclusion Keegan Brooksby and Brendon Ah Chee compete for the ball

PORT Adelaide has reaped rich reward from its first China expedition, thumping Gold Coast by 72 points in Shanghai.

While the jury will be out for several years yet about whether the concept can work, the 16.14 (110) to 4.14 (38) demolition was a massive result on and off the field for the Power.

A third of the way through the season, Port go into the bye with a 5-3 record.

Full match details and stats

A week after an outstanding win over Geelong, and plenty of pre-match talk about the need for greater consistency, the Suns had a shocker.

The first AFL match for premiership points outside of Australia and NZ happened because of Port's determination to build a presence in China.

After weeks of speculation about air quality and logistics, the game went off without any noticeable dramas.

Five talking points: Suns v Power

The sold-out crowd of 10,118 featured a healthy contingent of locals among the fans who travelled from Australia, along with expats.

The temperature was in the high 20s and the air quality was no worse than a similar windy, hazy day in Sydney or Melbourne.

Indeed, the biggest drama happened on the field, a few minutes before the opening bounce.

Gold Coast defender Rory Thompson, who was returning from a quad muscle injury, hurt a hamstring during the warm-up.

Keegan Brooksby was called out of an official function to take Thompson's place in the side.

Michael Barlow gave the Suns a good start when his scrambled kick was ruled a goal after a score review.

 

But Port quickly took control and led by 21 points at quarter time.

They killed off the match with six goals to one in the second term to lead by 42 at the main break.

Port's Justin Westhoff provided the highlight of the match in their second-quarter onslaught when he soccered through a spectacular goal from the boundary.

 

In a game defined by its travel challenges, Port midfielder Brad Ebert brushed aside his particularly tough lead-up to be best afield.

Ebert had 30 disposals after only flying to Shanghai on Friday, following the birth of his son Leo.

Port Adelaide coach Ken Hinkley said it was crucial that the team played well, to back the club's efforts.

"I'm really proud - obviously from a club point of view, there's been a lot go in to this," he said.

"So to come here and then back that up for them, with all the work they've done, it was really important we put on a strong team performance."

 

Jarrod Harbrow continued his strong form to be best for the Suns on a dirty day for the expansion club.

There was plenty of pre-game speculation about Robbie Gray's fitness and the Port star was clearly not 100 per cent, but he kicked two goals.

 

Suns ace Gary Ablett was well off his best, despite racking up 29 disposals.

Gold Coast coach Rodney Eade said the loss was one of the most disappointing moments of his career.

"That's as disappointed as I've been - I didn't see that coming," he said.

"The preparation was good, the attitude seemed good. We were just smashed in tight, (in) contested ball."

GOLD COAST SUNS    1.1   3.5   4.9   4.14 (38)
PORT ADELAIDE         4.4 10.5 13.10 16.14 (110) 

GOALS
Gold Coast Suns: Barlow, Lyons, Kolodjashnij, Joyce
Port Adelaide: Ah Chee 3, R.Gray 2, Dixon 2, Impey 2, Boak 2, Amon, Polec, Westhoff, Trengove, S.Gray

BEST 
Gold Coast Suns: Hall, Harbrow, Lyons, Saad
Port Adelaide: Ebert, Boak, Hombsch, Wingard, Jonas, Impey

INJURIES 
Gold Coast Suns: Rory Thompson (hamstring) replaced in selected side by Keegan Brooksby
Port Adelaide:

Reports: Nil

Umpires: Brendan Hosking, Matt Nicholls, Sam Hay

Official crowd: 10,118 at Jiangwan Stadium