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How do you beat West Coast? Port has the blueprint

Highlights: West Coast v Port Adelaide The Eagles and Power clash in round five

THE BLUEPRINT for beating the Eagles has been laid bare. 

Bring the heat, put speed on the footy, don't give West Coast's defenders the chance to intercept mark and you're in with a shot.

But hatching the plan is one thing. 

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Executing it, especially at Optus Stadium, and sustaining it across four quarters is easier said than done. 

That's why Port Adelaide's emphatic 42-point victory on Good Friday should rank up there with the best in recent times under Ken Hinkley.

After consecutive losses to Brisbane and a severely-undermanned Richmond at home, the Power came to Perth massive underdogs.

West Coast had only lost three times at its new fortress from 16 starts, but Port was armed with a gameplan designed to test the reigning premiers.

Dejected Eagles leave the field after their shock loss. Picture: AFL Photos

The warning signs were there for the Eagles last week in the Western Derby, when they booted five goals in the opening term but only five more for the match in an ugly scrap against the Dockers.

When Fremantle ratcheted up the pressure and moved the ball with pace, West Coast was just hanging on, and Port must have been watching.

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From the opening bounce, the Power – led by a dominant former Eagles ruckman Scott Lycett – were switched on.

Despite tagger Mark Hutchings' attention, former skipper Travis Boak led the charge, racking up nine touches and winning two clearances in the opening term, with excellent support from Tom Rockliff (three clearances) and wrecking ball Sam Powell-Pepper.

They sliced through midfield, linking up with handball chains and once the footy was in their forward half they fought like crazy to keep it there.

Collectively, the West Coast backline is elite. Only twice since round one last year have they conceded more than 88 points in a game.

But, like any defence, they are vulnerable when isolated and the Power put them under the pump with "dirty" forward 50 entries.

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Hinkley's men slotted three goals in the opening term and would have led by more than 16 points at quarter-time, if not for some wastefulness on the scoreboard.

When the skies opened during the break, that lead was worth at least a goal or two more.

And when the Power piled on six majors to one in the second term, showcasing dry-weather skills in the wet, the out-of-sorts Eagles were stunned.

In the conditions, West Coast could never get the game on its terms and looked too tall with two ruckmen and three big men in attack, who suffered from slow ball movement stifled by Port's organised zone defence.

Down back, the Eagles took only one intercept mark in the entire first half, when they average 16 per match this year, and speedsters Jack Petruccelle (five goals) and Liam Ryan (one) were their only dangerous forwards.

Port Adelaide, on the other hand, had winners everywhere at ground level.

It was a game tailor-made for midfield bull Ollie Wines (35 disposals), while nippy small Sam Gray (two goals) and tough nut Brett Ebert (two) relished the contest.

The visitors dominated inside 50s (69-38) in a committed and disciplined performance, inflicting West Coast's biggest loss at Optus Stadium and first in 17 games with Josh Kennedy and Jack Darling in the line-up.

The Power wanted to go quicker again this season after playing safe in 2018 failed miserably.

On Friday night, and in round one against Melbourne, Hinkley's men showed they might have rediscovered a brand that could propel them back to September.