Connor Rozee celebrates a goal during Port Adelaide's clash against the Western Bulldogs in round 17, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

PORT Adelaide captain Connor Rozee has led a midfield mauling of the Western Bulldogs in a pivotal 48-point victory for the Power.

Rozee's sizzling 18-disposal opening quarter propelled Port to a 15.12 (102) to 8.6 (54) win on Saturday at Adelaide Oval.

POWER v BULLDOGS Full match coverage and stats

The skipper finished with 36 touches, seven clearances and one goal and his vice-captain Zak Butters gathered 33 touches and also kicked a goal before being rested and substituted.

Brownlow medallist Ollie Wines (30 disposals, nine clearances, one goal) also feasted to help Port improve to 10-6.


By half-time the trio had a whopping 64 disposals and 17 clearances between them, and Mitch Georgiades kicked four goals to create a match-defining 44-point lead.

Georgiades finished with five majors and Jason Horne-Francis booted three.


Rozee fired with an instant classic of an opening term: 18 disposals at 83 per cent efficiency, five clearances and two tackles.

Butters (14 touches) and Wines (13) completed the onball domination, and Georgiades cashed in with two majors in two minutes to set an ominous early tone.


The Bulldogs didn't score until the 21st minute when Sam Darcy missed a set shot. Teammate Jamarra Ugle-Hagan sprayed another from just 15 metres soon after and Port led 5.2 to 0.2 at quarter-time.

Bulldogs captain Marcus Bontempelli – who had only eight first-half disposals and 21 for the game – broke his side's goal drought early in the second term.


But Port remained in control with five goals to three, with Georgiades slotting his fourth on the half-time siren for a 10.5 to 3.3 scoreline.

The Dogs' woes were compounded when Aaron Naughton was substituted with concussion, the key forward hurt when blocked behind play by Brandon Zerk-Thatcher.

Port, with Horne-Francis kicking two goals and missing another set shot, extended its lead to 52 points at three-quarter time.


The Bulldogs belatedly outscored the Power four goals to three in the final term.

Bontempelli, Tim English and Rhylee West scored two majors each and Adam Treloar had a match-high 38 disposals.

But the ninth-placed Dogs could slip six premiership points outside the top eight by the end of the round ahead of fixtures against Carlton, Geelong and Sydney.


Power skipper sets the tone
If Port wanted to make an early statement, it got it from captain Connor Rozee in a dominant first quarter. Rozee had 18 disposals, seven contested possessions, five clearances and two tackles as he took complete control through the middle. He finished the game with 36, eight tackles and a goal.


Dog's day done in second quarter
The Bulldogs were dealt a huge blow in the second term, when Aaron Naughton was substituted due to a concussion. A swinging arm from Brandon Zerk-Thatcher caught Naughton high before he was later substituted. The forward hadn't had a touch of the ball before his day came to an early end. The Dogs also lost James O'Donnell to concussion later in the match.


Port forward set to face MRO scrutiny
As Tom Liberatore tried to lift the Dogs, a scuffle broke out on the wing during the second quarter. Just as it seemed set to end, Mitch Georgiades struck Nick Coffield high and gave away a free kick. Given it was an off-the-ball incident, Georgiades – who starred with five goals – is likely to face scrutiny from the Match Review Officer.


PORT ADELAIDE                  5.2      10.5     12.8      15.12 (102)
WESTERN BULLDOGS          0.2       3.3       4.4        8.6 (54)  

Port Adelaide: Georgiades 5, Horne-Francis 3, Wines, Sweet, Rozee, Narkle, Lord, Byrne-Jones, Butters
Western Bulldogs:
West 2, English 2, Bontempelli 2, McNeil, Freijah

Port Adelaide: Rozee, Butters, Georgiades, Wines, Horne-Francis, Zerk-Thatcher
Western Bulldogs:
Liberatore, Treloar, Bontempelli, English

Port Adelaide: Nil
Western Bulldogs:
Naughton (concussion), O'Donnell (concussion)  

Port Adelaide: Francis Evans (replaced Zak Butters in the fourth quarter)
Western Bulldogs:
Joel Freijah (replaced Aaron Naughton in the second quarter)

Crowd: 31,590 at Adelaide Oval