Power Set To Light Up Showdown

Image courtesy of foxsports.com.au/Sarah Reed/News Limited
Chad Wingard has been an excitement machine for Port this season. Image courtesy of foxsports.com.au/Sarah Reed/News Limited
Last Five Matches

Round 3, 2013 – Port Adelaide 118 d Adelaide 109 at AAMI Stadium
Round 15, 2012 – Adelaide 116 d Port Adelaide 58 at AAMI Stadium
Round 5, 2012 – Adelaide 110 d Port Adelaide 91 at AAMI Stadium
Round 19, 2011 – Adelaide 111 d Port Adelaide 79 at AAMI Stadium
Round 4, 2011 – Port Adelaide 98 d Adelaide 66 at AAMI Stadium


Form

     Rd 14       Rd 15       Rd 16       Rd 17       Rd 18   
Port Adelaide    W  L  L  W  W
Adelaide   W  L  L  W  L

Port Adelaide moved a step closer to a first finals appearance since the losing grand final season in 2007 when they held on for a scrappy nine-point win over Brisbane. They’ll have to improve on that performance if they’re to go in to the post-season with any momentum, given their tough draw. They have won five of their last seven matches, though, with the only losses coming in respectable efforts against top four outfits Hawthorn and Essendon.

The Crows’ slim finals hopes were snuffed out on Sunday when they couldn’t break free of Fremantle’s stranglehold, going down by 22 points in Perth. Adelaide has won just two matches in its last eight, including its shock comeback victory over Geelong in round 17. A lack of targets in the forward line and midfielders who aren’t prepared to work hard at both ends of the ground are killing the Crows this season.

Josh Jenkins will miss the rest of the year with an ankle fracture, while hard-working midfielder Rory Sloane suffered an eye injury last week. The Crows do regain star Patrick Dangerfield who returns early from a shoulder injury.


Key Men

(Crows) Rory Sloane – Patrick Dangerfield and Scott Thompson were the Crows’ Brownlow fancies coming in to this season, but neither, through a mix of injury and lack of form, has been able to step up to the plate as they did last season. Instead, Richard Douglas and Rory Sloane have emerged as Adelaide’s most consistent midfielders. With Sloane out this week after being poked in the eye against Freo last weekend, plenty of pressure will fall on Douglas’s shoulders. He was instrumental in the win over Geelong two weeks back with 33 touches and he has been amongst his team’s best in almost every victory this season.

(Power) Chad Wingard – He showed glimpses of his potential last season, but Chad Wingard this year looks like becoming and out and out star, and he’s only 19. The forward flanker is averaging almost two goals per game to go with 22 possessions, and he has been given plenty of time rotating through the midfield, as well. He has silky finishing skills, and was on the spot last week when Port desperately needed a goal in the final term against the Lions. He has been held goalless just one this year and he was outstanding in the first Showdown of 2013, kicking three goals to go along with 25 disposals.


Prediction

Adelaide looked set for its fourth straight Showdown victory earlier this year before Power surged home in the second half to win by nine in a thrilling contest. The Crows’ line-up has changed markedly since then, especially up forward with both Taylor Walker and Josh Jenkins gone for the year. Adelaide has cracked the 100-mark just once in its past eight matches. Since its red-hot start to the year, Port hasn’t been a high scoring team, either, but it has enough weapons across the ground to keep its rival at bay. Port Adelaide by 16 points .

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