PORT Adelaide has entrenched itself in the top four and continued St Kilda’s season of misery with a dominant 54-point victory at Adelaide Oval on Sunday.
Ollie Wines (36 disposals) and Karl Amon (34 disposals) starred for the Power in the 14.9 (93) to 5.9 (39) win, while up forward Orazio Fantasia and Steven Motlop caused headaches for St Kilda’s defence with three goals each.
POWER v SAINTS Full match coverage and stats
The first quarter was played predominantly in the Saints’ front half, with St Kilda leading the inside-50 count 19 to seven at quarter time.
But besides an incredible goal from Jack Higgins on the boundary, the Saints were unable to meaningfully impact the scoreboard.
Meanwhile, slick ball movement from the Power saw them kick four goals – including two to Motlop – to go 15 points up at quarter time.
The second quarter was an arm wrestle, with both sides struggling to gain the ascendency, until Mitch Georgiades broke the scoring deadlock with two easy goals that both came from 50 metre penalties.
Speedster Bradley Hill finally broke a six-goal Port Adelaide run with a vital goal from a spearing Dan Butler kick inside 50.
But Port Adelaide continued to make the most of their opportunities, with Motlop and Travis Boak soon following with consecutive goals to give the Power a game-high 34-point lead at the main break.
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The Power put the foot on the accelerator in the third term, with Robbie Gray, Charlie Dixon and Fantasia all adding goals to take the sting out of the match and put the game out of St Kilda’s reach.
It was more of the same in the final quarter, with another three goals from the Power condemning an outclassed St Kilda side to its fourth loss for the season, which leaves last year’s finalists sitting in the bottom four after six rounds.
Higgins lights up Adelaide Oval
Jack Higgins knows a thing or two about kicking exciting goals, and the 2018 Goal of the Year winner kicked one of the best of his career early in the first quarter against Port Adelaide. The former Tiger received the ball hemmed in tight on the forward pocket boundary line but his casual snap floated through the goals magnificently to give St Kilda the perfect start. Despite the incredible degree of difficulty for the kick, Higgins himself barely celebrated the goal, perhaps a sign of just how easy these kinds of goals come to him.
Amon runs amok
Brad Hill has long been lauded as one of the game’s best wingmen, but on Sunday night it was his Port Adelaide counterpart Karl Amon who tore the game apart. Amon racked up an incredible 26 touches in the first half, with 381 metres gained as he helped put St Kilda to the sword. He had a much quieter second half, but still finished with 34 disposals, 15 marks and a game-high 555 metres gained. Hill meanwhile finished with 10 touches and 151 metres gained before being subbed out in the fourth quarter with an ankle concern.
Saints fail to capitalise on forward forays
Despite losing the game by nine goals, St Kilda actually broke even in the inside-50 count, which finished on 52 apiece. But a lack of forward efficiency and inaccuracy cost St Kilda dearly, especially in the first term as the Saints kicked 1.4 from 19 inside-50 entries. Good teams make the most of their opportunities, and as St Kilda faltered, Port Adelaide capitalised with Motlop (3.0) and Dixon (2.0) kicking straight to bury the wayward Saints.
PORT ADELAIDE 4.1 8.3 11.8 14.9 (93)
ST KILDA 1.4 2.5 3.7 5.9 (39)
Port Adelaide: Motlop 3, Fantasia 3, Georgiades 2, Rozee 2, Dixon 2, Boak, Gray
St Kilda: Higgins, Hill, Marshall, Carlisle, Membrey
Port Adelaide: Amon, Motlop, Fantasia, Wines, Houston
St Kilda: Ross, Steele, Higgins, Marshall, Crouch
Port Adelaide: Nil
St Kilda: Hill (ankle)
Port Adelaide: Sam Mayes (unused)
St Kilda: Jack Bytel (replaced Hill)
Port Adelaide: Nil
St Kilda: McKenzie (reported for rough conduct on Wines)