Ivan Soldo and Zak Butters celebrate during the round two match between Richmond and Port Adelaide at the MCG, March 24, 2024. Picture: Getty Images

PORT Adelaide turned up an hour late for Travis Boak’s 350th game, but arrived with enough time to ensure the Power champion was able to celebrate his milestone game by singing the song on Sunday.  

After playing his 300th game behind closed doors at Marvel Stadium during the coronavirus pandemic in 2021 – and the following week when he broke the Kane Cornes’ games record – the 35-year-old from Victoria’s Surf Coast played in front of family and friends in the 30-point win at the MCG.

Before becoming just the 23rd player in VFL/AFL history to reach the milestone, Boak made the decision last year to go around again in 2024 and will be aiming to help Ken Hinkley’s side make another deep September run after playing at least two finals in three of the past four seasons. 

TIGERS v POWER Full match coverage and stats

The Power are 2-0 to start 2024 ahead of a run of three consecutive games at the Adelaide Oval, starting with Melbourne next Saturday night. That will provide a proper audit.


Richmond coach Adem Yze is still searching for his first win after a brave but undermanned backline, missing Josh Gibcus, Nathan Broad and Tylar Young, struggled to contain Port Adelaide’s tall trio of forwards. Although the problems were further up the ground, with Port’s midfield firing after half-time.

Todd Marshall kicked four goals from nine marks, Jeremy Finlayson finished with two, while Charlie Dixon was wasteful in front of goal, kicking 2.3. Darcy Byrne-Jones also slotted three of his own.


Brownlow Medal contenders Zak Butters (34 disposals, 13 score involvements and seven clearances) and Connor Rozee (28 disposals and four tackles) were busy, but were busy for most of the game, while Kane Farrell (26 disposals and 604 metres gained) provided plenty of drive out of the back half. Willem Drew and Ollie Wines were blue collar, as expected.

Richmond made the fastest of fast starts with Tom Lynch kicking the opening goal in less than 60 seconds, but from there, Port Adelaide had all the chances early. It just didn’t take them. The Power kicked 3.7 from seven marks inside 50, missing a handful of set shots they should have converted.


Enter Shai Bolton. 

The West Australian dominated the second quarter, putting the foot down through the centre of the MCG, finding fellow South Fremantle export Marlion Pickett streaming towards goal, finishing with ten touches and two goals in the term to put the Tigers 17 points up at one point, 11 ahead at the main break.


After a subpar first-half performance, Port Adelaide re-emerged as the premiership threat they are supposed to be this year. They kicked the first four goals of the second half – all inside the first nine minutes – to properly assert their dominance, kicking seven goals to two in a game-turning quarter.

But just when the game looked almost over, Liam Baker kicked two goals inside the final 90 seconds of the third quarter, including the second after the siren, reducing the margin to just seven points. Suddenly, the Tigers had a pulse again. 


It didn’t last. 

For the second straight quarter, the Power kicked the first four goals of the term in less than ten minutes, with Darcy Byrne-Jones, Todd Marshall and Jeremy Finlayson each kicking their third during the burst.

After kicking just five goals in the first half, a seven-goal third quarter and six-goal fourth term made it a day to celebrate for one of Port Adelaide’s favourite sons.

Late late change
There was some late drama before the first bounce. Maurice Rioli Jr. hurt his back in the warm-up and pulled out of the game minutes before it started. Mykelti Lefau was set to make his debut as the sub but entered the play seven minutes in after being a late inclusion in the 22. Judson Clarke became the sub. Just 34 days after being added to the rookie list at Punt Road, pre-season supplemental selection period signing Lefau became the latest foreign-born player to play in the AFL. The New Zealander initially moved across the Tasman to join Melbourne Storm’s development squad back in 2012. After a slow build in local footy and in the VFL, the 25-year-old played most of Sunday’s game, completing a remarkable rise to the MCG.

Mykelti Lefau is tackled by Dan Houston during the round two match between Richmond and Port Adelaide at the MCG, March 24, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

Game within the game
Richmond didn’t want to let Ivan Soldo go last October. It took until deadline day for the Tigers to change that stance. After years as Toby Nankvervis' understudy, the 27-year-old went head-to-head with the Richmond captain and challenged. Soldo finished with 26 hit-outs and nine touches, while Nankervis made his presence felt with 24 hit-outs, 17 disposals, seven clearances and six tackles.

Toby Nankervis and Ivan Soldo during the round two match between Richmond and Port Adelaide at the MCG, March 24, 2024. Picture: Getty Images

BZT proves value early
The Brandon Zerk-Thatcher trade was one of the trickiest trades to execute during the trade period, but it is already paying dividends. With a lack of key defenders around Aliir Aliir last year, Port Adelaide when and brought the South Australian home. On Sunday, Zerk-Thatcher performed a strong role on star key forward Tom Lynch, restricting the All-Australian to seven touches, 1.1 and zero marks. So far, so good.


RICHMOND           3.2    7.8    11.11    13.14 (92)
PORT ADELAIDE    3.7    5.9    12.12    18.14 (122)

Richmond: Baker 3, Mansell 2, Bolton 2, Taranto, Ross, D.Rioli, Pickett, Lynch, Balta
Port Adelaide: Marshall 4, Finlayson 3, Byrne-Jones 3, Dixon 2, Mead, Houston, Evans, Drew, Butters, Bergman

Richmond: Bolton, Baker, Ross, Nankervis
Port Adelaide: Butters, Marshall, Rozee, Farrell, Zerk-Thatcher, Wines

Richmond: Taranto (ankle)
Port Adelaide: Jones (corked calf)

Richmond:  Judson Clarke, replaced Sam Banks in the fourth quarter
Port Adelaide: Dylan Williams replaced Lachie Jones in the third quarter

Crowd: 30,254 at the MCG