Port Tries To Prove Itself Against 'Pies

Dane Swan was on fire for Collingwood last season. Image courtesy of: heraldsun.com.au
Dane Swan has been on fire the past month. Image courtesy of heraldsun.com.au
Last Five Matches

Round 4, 2012 - Collingwood 97 d Port Adelaide 73 at Etihad Stadium
Round 20, 2011 - Collingwood 159 d Port Adelaide 21 at AAMI Stadium
Round 1, 2011 - Collingwood 155 d Port Adelaide 80 at Etihad Stadium
Round 15, 2010 - Collingwood 105 d Port Adelaide 79 at AAMI Stadium
Round 10, 2009 – Collingwood 114 d Port Adelaide 76 at MCG


Form

     Rd 9       Rd 10       Rd 11       Rd 12       Rd 13   
Port Adelaide    L  L  B  W  W
Collingwood   L  W  W  W  B

Port Adelaide coach Ken Hinkley wanted more respect after his team beat up on GWS. His side may well have earned it after showing its five-game winning run at the start of the year wasn’t a fluke at all by running down Sydney at AAMI Stadium on Saturday. Not many teams can claim to have trailed the Swans in each of the first three quarters of a contest and come out on top. The 18-point win means Port now has a realistic chance of making the finals, but this Saturday’s game against Collingwood marks the start of a massive three-week test which also includes games against Essendon and Hawthorn.

Collingwood gets some experience back in the form of Luke Ball, Ben Hudson and Jordan Russell, but loses ruckman Darren Jolly (toe) and Ben Reid (hamstring). The Power get gun midfielder Travis Boak back along with defender Jackson Trengove.


Key Men

(Power) Matthew Lobbe – With Jarrad Redden out for the season, Matthew Lobbe has a chance to make the Power ruck job his own. He made a pretty good fist of it last weekend, battling manfully against Mike Pyke. Almost as impressive as his 37 hit outs was the fact he laid 11 tackles, allowing Port to create pressure at stoppages. His midfield is working its way back in to form, so if he can break even against Ben Hudson then the Power might have a sniff.


(Magpies) Dane Swan – He gets criticised for any number of reasons, but the fact remains that Dane Swan gets his hands on the football consistently more than any other player in the game apart from the unstoppable Gary Ablett Jnr. Against ordinary opposition in his past three games he has been at risk of getting leather poisoning averaging around 38 touches per game. One knock is that he doesn’t win enough of his own footy, but he’s just a fraction behind Scott Pendlebury as Collingwood’s leader in contested possessions.


Prediction

Collingwood has dominated this match-up over the past few years winning the past six contests between these teams. That run included a phenomenal 159-21 loss at the end of Port’s dreadful 2011 campaign when it won just three matches. It has been the Magpies’ on-ballers who have simply dominated those matches, with Dane Swan averaging over 36 touches per game over his last four starts against the Power, while Scott Pendlebury racks them up at a tick over 30 in the same period. Stop them and Port gives itself a hope. The Magpies are vulnerable, given Nathan Buckley still doesn’t seem settled on his best 22, but even without Dayne Beams, it’s a big ask for Port to stop the ‘Pies multitude of midfield threats. Collingwood by 19 points .

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