1. Skipper faces scrutiny
Hawthorn captain Luke Hodge looks set to come under Match Review Panel scrutiny for a bump on Chad Wingard early in the third term. As Wingard was chasing down a ball deep in the Power's forward line, Hodge appeared to catch the Power star high. And to add a wrinkle of complexity to the MRP's job, at the moment of impact Wingard was up against the behind post, with the force of Hodge's bump appearing to knock his head into the post. Wingard was down for some time, but a couple of minutes later he showed he had suffered no lasting side-effects when he ran on to a loose ball inside Port's forward 50 and goaled. The forward wasted no time in running up and letting Hodge know all about it. For good measure, Wingard added another major 90 seconds later.
2. Ah Chee makes amends
Brendon Ah Chee would have been the villain if Port Adelaide had snatched defeat from the jaws of victory on Friday night. The Power had led all game when Ah Chee took a strong mark 15 metres out from goal at the 17-minute mark of the final term. The Power led by 15 points at the time and a goal would have made the Hawks' comeback chances remote. But Ah Chee blew a certain goal when he tried to handball over the top to Angus Monfries in the goalsquare, allowing Matt Suckling to cut across and rush a behind. Less than two minutes later, Jack Gunston goaled to put the Hawks back to within 10 points, and suddenly the Power seemed wobbly. But 90 seconds later Ah Chee got another opportunity to seal victory, and this time he took it. Running on to a pass from Wingard, he again had Monfries in the goalsquare but this time he ignored him and coolly coverted himself.
3. Who's on Cyril?
Cyril Rioli loomed as one of the biggest threats for the Power just six days after his scintillating six-goal haul against Geelong. But Port kept the Hawthorn star very quiet in the first half, with a succession of opponents include Nathan Krakouer, Jack Hombsch and Hamish Hartlett restricting him to just three possessions and one goal. However, Rioli hit back in the third term, setting up three goals, with his pass to Paul Puopolo in the dying seconds of the quarter setting up an after-the-siren goal that brought the Hawks back to within one point. He then kicked the Hawks' first goal of final term to give his side a sniff after the Power had kicked the first three goals of the term. But from there, Port managed to shackle Rioli well enough that he didn't pull off any last-minute heroics.
4. Power switched on early
Port started the match looking like the 2014 vintage that thrilled footy fans with its high-octane attack rather than the spluttering 2015 outfit that entered the game 12th on the ladder. With Robbie Gray starring in the middle, the Power dominated the Hawks in the first term, winning the centre clearances 6-1 and inside 50s 20-9. Their slightly wasteful return of 4.5 meant they took just a 14-point lead into the first break, but the disappointing crowd of 28,657 at Etihad Stadium then had hope that the clash might live up to the powerhouse status it had when the 2015 fixture was released. Their hope was not misplaced.
5. Butcher by name …
John Butcher was the first key-position player chosen in the 2009 national draft. With Gippsland Power and Vic Country, he had established himself as that year's most exciting key forward prospect, but one question mark hung over him – his kicking. Butcher's six-year career was summed up late in the first term of Friday night's game. After teammate Ah Chee lobbed a rain-making kick inside the Power's forward 50, Butcher flew over a pack of players and clunked the ball in one grab. What happened next encapsulated why Butcher was playing just his 26th game, and why at the end of this season his AFL career could be over when he comes out of contract. With no conviction in his approach, Butcher shanked his shot from 50 metres about 20 metres right of its target to undo his earlier good work.