Port young gun Ollie Wines was the Rising Star nominee for round one. Image courtesy of news.com.au
Round 19, 2012 – GWS Giants 107 d Port Adelaide Power 73
It will be an emotional evening on Saturday as Port Adelaide remembers former player John McCarthy who died on an end of season trip to Las Vegas last year. It is the first game since his death and tributes will flow at AAMI Stadium pre-game. From a football point of view, how the Power players respond taking to the field with heavy hearts will probably decide the outcome.
The Giants out-enthused a lacklustre Port in their round 19 clash last season kicking six goals in the final term to run out 34-point winners. Ball magnet Toby Greene picked up 31 disposals in that game but he found out last week that his sophomore season might be a little harder. He’s a marked man in 2013 and Ryan O’Keefe put the clamps on him last week, with Greene earning just 11 disposals, way down on his average of 28 possessions last year. It probably won’t get any easier this weekend if Ken Hinkley decides to use veteran Kane Cornes to tag the teenager, although he may go on Callan Ward instead.
Over the past two years, Port has managed to win back-to-back games just one, and that was when it hit a purple patch in the middle of last season picking up consecutive victories against North, the Suns and Carlton. Getting the Demons and Giants to start 2013 gives the Power a chance to get off to a flyer and despite the insipid opposition last week, Port could scarcely have been more impressive in what it showed.
(Power) Ollie Wines – All the chat pre-season was that this kid was training the house down and was a ready-made AFL player. For once that talk was bang on the mark. Ollie Wines is a footballer rather than an athlete, but his bullocking work last weekend was outstanding. He picked up 24 touches and 16 of those were contested possessions, which are outstanding numbers for a first-gamer. He rightfully pipped Melbourne’s Jack Viney for the round one Rising Star nomination. It’s way too early to make calls like this, but based on that game, he looks like being a steal at No. 7 in the draft.
(Giants) Jonathon Giles – How the Power must wish it could have its time over again when it comes to this 200cm man mountain. Port’s ruck division is its weakest point, and after getting in to shape, Jonathon Giles was picked up by GWS and turned out to be arguably the club’s most consistent player in his first full season of league footy. He was competitive in the ruck and kicked 18 goals, as well, showing good ability in the air. The 25-year-old picked up three Brownlow votes in both of the Giants’ wins last season, including the win over Port when he dominated Matthew Lobbe.
Port was superb in its humbling of the woeful Demons last weekend, and if the team isn’t emotionally drained from paying its respects to the man known as J-Mac, the home side should get across the line. GWS kicked five straight at one stage against Sydney, but the Giants need to be able to compete for four quarters before regularly challenging established outfits. Power by 48 points
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