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Five talking points: Western Bulldogs v Port Adelaide

Highlights: Western Bulldogs v Port Adelaide The Dogs and Power clash in round 19

1. Dixon the difference as Power surge into top four
On a day far more suited to the small men than the big men, Port Adelaide forward Charlie Dixon was the one to stand up and separate what was a dour affair in freezing conditions. The Power spearhead kicked five of his team's 10 goals, taking five marks (three contested and five inside 50) and adding a goal assist. But it was Dixon's ability to compete and bring the ball to ground that allowed Chad Wingard and Steven Motlop to come into the game. With just one game separating fourth and ninth on the ladder, it was a crucial victory for the Power as they moved into the top four. The Power still have their work cut out with next week's Showdown against the Crows followed by clashes against West Coast, Collingwood and Essendon. 

 

POWER STIFLE DOGS Full match coverage and stats

2. Rain, wind, hail and sleet in the 'Rat
The Western Bulldogs are attempting to create a foothold in Ballarat and earlier this season the club and the City of Ballarat extended their partnership until the end of 2021. The Bulldogs notched a nine-point victory against Gold Coast in their clash in round seven, but failed to back it up in wintry conditions against the finals-bound Power. The weather was not kind to the Ballarat locals who turned out for the game, with several downpours of rain and even hail when the players were warming up in the pre-game. As is typical for Ballarat in the winter, the temperature hovered around six degrees for much of the afternoon. Both interchange benches had hand warmers and a microwave on hand for the players to try to keep warm. Port's Sam Powell-Pepper was also spotted with a beanie and a jacket on the bench.

 

3. Trengove turns up against his old team
Jackson Trengove faced off against his former team in round 13 and acquitted himself OK. But it was as if he had a point to prove in Ballarat on Sunday, with the utility playing his best game for his new club against his old mob. Trengove spent large periods of the game in the ruck against Paddy Ryder, who was returning from injury, and finished the game as one of the Bulldogs' best players. The 27-year-old, who crossed to the Bulldogs as a free agent, racked up midfield-like numbers: 22 disposals, 10 clearances, five tackles, four inside 50s and his first two goals as a Bulldogs player.

4. Jack Hombsch: The AFL's everywhere man
In just his 95th game, Port Adelaide's Jack Hombsch broke an unlikely AFL record at Mars Stadium in Ballarat. The defender surpassed AFL legends Robert Harvey and Paul Salmon to become the only player in history to take the field on 20 AFL grounds. Hombsch spent one season at Greater Western Sydney before being traded to Port Adelaide at the end of 2012. These are the grounds Hombsch has played at during his career: Adelaide Oval, Bellerive Oval, Blacktown, Metricon Stadium, Etihad Stadium, AAMI Stadium, The Gabba, Jiangwan Stadium (China), GMHBA Stadium, MCG, Manuka Oval, TIO Stadium (Darwin), Optus Stadium, SCG, Sydney Olympic Stadium, Patersons Stadium, Spotless, TIO Traeger Park (Alice Springs), York Park (Launceston) and Mars Stadium (Ballarat).

 

5. Greene shoots for Bulldogs
Fergus Greene became the Western Bulldogs' fifth debutant for the season and the medium-sized forward displayed some positive signs on a day where opportunities were few and far between. Greene got his teammates up and about at the start of the second term when he took a strong mark and converted truly from 30m out directly in front. The Bulldogs' injury list is long and lengthy and they are missing some important players, but Luke Dahlhaus' absence gives players like Greene – pick No.70 in the 2016 NAB AFL Draft – an opportunity to come in and play. While this season has been a major disappointment for the Dogs, getting games into Greene, Aaron Naughton, Brad Lynch, Ed Richards and Billy Gowers will benefit them in the long run. 

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