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Match report: Power shut down injured Dogs

Highlights: Port Adelaide v Bulldogs The Power and Bulldogs clash in round 13

PORT Adelaide is slowly regaining the trust of the footy world.

With four wins from its past five games – and the only loss in that period to Hawthorn at fortress Launceston – the Power are doing everything they can to show they can be taken seriously in September.

POWER STRIKE Full match coverage and stats

Thursday night's 57-point runaway win, 20.12 (132) to 11.9 (75), against a decimated Western Bulldogs won't prove a lot in the long run.

A shadow of the 2016 premiership side, the Bulldogs suffered two huge blows when Brownlow Medal contender Jack Macrae and skipper Easton Wood left the game with hamstring injuries.

Wood will be out for a "long time", Lukas Webb (broken thumb) and Tom Boyd (compound dislocated finger) look certain to miss next week's game against North Melbourne and Marcus Bontempelli (knee) and Toby McLean (shoulder) were also worse for wear.

With four wins from 12 games, it would take a miracle for the Dogs to feature in the finals.

The Power are going in the other direction.

At 8-4, and with a favourable draw featuring just three of their remaining 10 games against top-eight sides, the Power are positioned nicely.

Next Friday night's clash with Melbourne, their third straight home game, will be the Power's true litmus test, after knocking off reigning premier Richmond, albeit minus Dustin Martin, last week.

"We were pretty good over the course of the whole night, bar the second quarter when the Bulldogs got a little bit of a go," Power coach Ken Hinkley said.

"But we were pretty dominant in some key stats that we like to look at, so it's a really pleasing result."

NO GRAY AREAS Five talking points

Off-contract Power vice-captain Ollie Wines had a game-high 35 disposals, and Tom Rockliff, Robbie Gray and Charlie Dixon booted three goals each.

The small crowd of 26,137 – the lowest to an AFL game at Adelaide Oval – on a cold and wet night witnessed a huge start from the Power.

They booted five unanswered goals in the first quarter while the Bulldogs managed only a solitary point.

Bontempelli had 10 second-quarter disposals – after just two touches in the first term – and youngster Ed Richards booted three goals as the Bulldogs showed some fight to narrow the margin to 25 points at half-time.

Macrae – second in the League for disposals with 33.5 per game – injured his hamstring in the second quarter and didn't feature in the second half.

Leading by 38 points at the final change, the Power kicked six goals to three in the last quarter on their way to an easy victory.

GAMEBREAKER  Awesome Ollie leads from the front

"Other than the first quarter, the injury toll, we don't make excuses, but I was proud of the way they fought through it," Bulldogs coach Luke Beveridge said.

"If we carve the first quarter off and some of the junk-time goals, it's a reasonably close game.

"Two men down for most of the game, younger men playing against more experienced, stronger-body players, I thought our boys had a real go."

Power winger Jared Polec could have two Goal of the Year contenders with a couple of superb strikes from almost identical spots hard up against the boundary in the left-hand pocket.

The Power's bold moves at the selection table paid off.

Youngster Todd Marshall was dangerous in attack, and in a stirring move, received a round of applause from the crowd in the 13th minute of the first quarter.

The 19-year-old – who wears jumper No.13 – played his first game since the death of his father in April.

Marshall replaced marquee off-season recruit Jack Watts.

Veteran forward Lindsay Thomas was lively in his second game for the Power.

MEDICAL ROOM
Port Adelaide: Defender Darcy Byrne-Jones had what the club described as some "hamstring awareness", but finished the game. Ruckman Paddy Ryder copped a knock to his shin.

Western Bulldogs: It was a terrible night on the injury front. Skipper Easton Wood faces a significant stint on the sidelines with a hamstring injury sustained in the second quarter. "Easton will be out for a long time," Bulldogs coach Luke Beveridge said. Star midfielder Jack Macrae tweaked his hamstring late in the second quarter and didn't play the second half. Lukas Webb will have surgery on Friday after breaking his thumb and is expected to miss two to three weeks. Tom Boyd has a compound dislocation of a finger and will be out. Big gun Marcus Bontempelli hyper-extended his knee in the fourth quarter, while Toby McLean injured his shoulder in the opening exchanges, but finished the game.

NEXT UP
The Power finish their three-game home stand with a massive Friday night encounter against Melbourne at Adelaide Oval. Meanwhile, the Bulldogs are back under the roof at Etihad Stadium for their clash with North Melbourne next Saturday night.

PORT ADELAIDE          5.5   8.6   14.9   20.12 (132)                  
WESTERN BULLDOGS 0.1   4.5  8.7    11.9 (75)  

GOALS
Port Adelaide: Dixon 3, R.Gray 3, Rockcliff 3, Polec 2, Westhoff 2, Wines, Thomas, Motlop, Boak, Ryder, S.Gray, Houston
Western Bulldogs: Richards 3, Wallis 2, Bontempelli 2, Schache, Gowers, McLean, Lipinski

BEST 
Port Adelaide: R.Gray, Wines, Rockliff, Powell-Pepper, Wingard, Westhoff, Dixon
Western Bulldogs:  Bontempelli, Williams, Dahlhaus, Crozier

INJURIES 
Port Adelaide: TBC
Western Bulldogs: Wood (hamstring), Macrae (hamstring), Webb (thumb), Boyd (finger)

Reports: TBC

Umpires: Foot, Rosebury, Meredith, Mollison

Official crowd: 26,137 at the Adelaide Oval