1. How many will Gray and Ryder miss?
Port Adelaide – and the whole football community – will be sweating on the welfare of superstar forward Robbie Gray after a sickening concussion on Sunday. Gray gathered a loose ball on the half-forward flank and attempted to evade defender Ryan Nyhuis, who grasped his opponent, pinned one arm and slung him head-first into the turf. Gray didn’t stir until medical staff reached him and was eventually stretchered off the field. Just a quarter earlier, Ryder left the field with ice applied to his groin. It was later confirmed the All Australian ruckman suffered an injury to his hip flexor, though it remains unclear when and how he sustained it.
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2. Port Adelaide's credentials
The implications of Sunday’s nine-point loss on Port Adelaide’s season are huge. The Power lose their spot in the top four to Sydney and fall a game behind Collingwood (second) and West Coast (third) with Melbourne following closely in toe. Hinkley’s men face GWS (home), Adelaide, West Coast (home) and Collingwood (away) in the run home and might be without two of their most influential players. Port Adelaide has been guilty of lowering its standards to teams below it in years past. And that’s not to besmirch the efforts of Fremantle, which closed the Power’s space and denied them their attacking flair. But in losing a game it banked on winning – injuries aside – Port has made its task a whole lot harder.
3. Where's McCarthy at?
Having kicked just 1.2 in four matches for Peel, eyebrows were raised when developing forward Cam McCarthy’s name appeared among Fremantle’s inclusions. Ross Lyon and Nat Fyfe openly praised McCarthy’s workrate on Fox Footypre-game and on that front, the 23-year-old didn’t let his team down. McCarthy busted his gut to reach contests on the wing and ran hard to apply pressure the other way. His body language was also positive all afternoon, even when things weren’t going his way. Ultimately, though, McCarthy’s job is to kick goals – a job he has found particularly difficult during his time at the Dockers. He did manage one important major in the final term, the result of a free for front-on contact. But in the end his return yielded four possessions, no marks and no tackles. Questions won’t go away until fans see more.
4. Polec raises the bat in style
Jared Polec's exploits too often go unnoticed by those outside Adelaide. Before Sunday, the versatile wingman averaged 24.5 touches, 4.9 marks and 438.9 metres gained per game in a variety of midfield roles. In match 100, Polec was one of his team’s best with another 26 disposals, seven marks and a goal. He also provided the run and carry plenty of his teammates couldn’t find, and consistently threatened to break the lines when his team needed a late boost. A native South Australian, the 25-year-old is out of contract at season’s end and weighing up his options. Port fans will be hoping the club didn’t blow its budget on Ollie Wines, because Polec’s asking price is sure to be significantly higher than it was at the start of last year.
5. Some way to break a drought…
Usually goals end droughts, but Fremantle found a way to buck the norm against Port Adelaide. When the first term ended, the Dockers had lost 11 consecutive quarters dating back to half-time against Carlton in round 13, when they boasted a lead of 70 points. In the second stanza, Fremantle won the inside 50 count 20-4 – a complete backflip of the previous term – and won the quarter by seven points, with the seven behinds it registered. Port Adelaide failed to score and never properly recovered thereafter.