Jeremy Finlayson celebrates a goal during Port Adelaide's clash against the Western Bulldogs in round 13, 2023. Picture: AFL Photos

PORT Adelaide has made it 10 wins on the trot after a thriller against the Western Bulldogs, with the 22-point margin belying the intensity at Marvel Stadium. 

Two late goals to Sam Powell-Pepper broke the Dogs' hearts, ending in a 16.11 (107) to 13.7 (85) victory for the Power on Friday night. 

BULLDOGS v POWER Full match coverage and stats

Port Adelaide landed the first blow almost immediately as the returning Charlie Dixon kicked the opening goal within 20 seconds. He flexed his muscles with three goals in the first quarter and four for the game. 

Cody Weightman's opening quarter was equally as impressive, with three of his side's four goals.


The match was played at high intensity for the full four quarters, with plenty of big hits and moments of individual brilliance. 

A stunning final-quarter goal from Jason Horne-Francis stole the show, putting the cherry on top of the Power's winning streak. 


Tom Liberatore was in his best, antagonistic form before the opening bounce was even slammed into the turf, making his presence known to Port Adelaide star Zak Butters in the middle. Liberatore backed it up with an impressive performance, winning 34 disposals, 11 clearances and even having nine intercept possessions. 

Butters didn't let the physicality dull his night, however, breaking the tag with some time up forward and Liberatore shifted his focus to Horne-Francis as the game wore on. Butters finished with 31 disposals, 539 metres gained and a goal, and Horne-Francis 13 disposals and two goals to propel their side.  

The Bulldogs set the pressure tone early, allowing their opposition no time or space and punishing any fumble or ill-directed disposal. And when faced with similar pressure from the Power, the home side's quick, neat handballing game allowed it to slice through and move into attack. 


Port Adelaide was determined to go fast and direct, reliably finding the runner from behind for a neat, releasing handball. The visitors looked slick right across the ground, except for their attempts to enter their attacking 50. 

Once they had settled into the pressure the Dogs were bringing, however, the Power were able to find more composure and space through the middle of the ground and identify pockets of space up forward. Throughout the third quarter Todd Marshall and Jeremy Finlayson feasted on the bullet-like delivery. 

In better news for the Dogs, despite concerns that Adam Treloar's hamstring issues may have re-emerged last week, that wasn't the case. Treloar finished with 34 disposals, five tackles and five clearances in a strong performance. 


Horne-Francis, take a bow 
Just as the Bulldogs were threatening to mow down the Power's lead midway through the final quarter, prized recruit Jason Horne-Francis stepped up with a big blow. After Butters had already quickstepped some Dogs through the middle of the ground to send the ball inside 50, Horne-Francis gathered the ground ball under pressure, turned, straightened, and calmly slotted one of the best goals of the game, stealing away any momentum the home side had won.

First quarter shootout 
In direct antithesis to the previous night's game between Sydney and St Kilda, this one started with a bang. Charlie Dixon slammed through the opening goal within 20 seconds of the first bounce, while Aaron Naughton followed up for the Dogs just two minutes later. Each side boasted a sharpshooter with three in the first quarter; for the Dogs it was Cody Weightman, for the Power it was Dixon in his first game in over a month. 

Bontempelli in hot water? 
The Western Bulldogs will be sweating on the availability of their captain Marcus Bontempelli next week after a clumsy high hit on Port Adelaide's Dan Houston in the second quarter. As Houston attempted to recover a fumbled possession, Bontempelli landed an awkward bump over Houston's shoulder. While the Power defender leapt up to take his free kick, the incident may be looked at by the Match Review Officer.



WESTERN BULLDOGS        4.5     7.5      9.6        13.7 (85)
PORT ADELAIDE                6.1     8.3     12.7      16.11 (107)

Western Bulldogs: Weightman 3, Ugle-Hagan 2, Naughton 2, West, Treloar, Macrae, English, Daniel, Bontempelli
Port Adelaide:
Dixon 4, Powell-Pepper 2, McEntee 2, Marshall 2, Horne-Francis 2, Finlayson 2, Rozee, Butters

Western Bulldogs: Liberatore, Smith, Daniel, Treloar, Bontempelli 
Port Adelaide: Butters, Dixon, Jones, Rozee, Horne-Francis 

Western Bulldogs: Nil 
Port Adelaide: Nil

Western Bulldogs: Oskar Baker (replaced James O'Donnell in third quarter) 
Port Adelaide: Riley Bonner (replaced Josh Sinn in fourth quarter) 

Crowd: 23,110 at Marvel Stadium