Forget grand, Port Adelaide was near perfect in a stunning opening rush that earned a 46 point win over the inexact Fremantle.
The Dockers worked admirably into the match after the devastating opening , but failed to overcome the early carnage. Power won 18.7 (115) to 9.15 (69) at the Adelaide Oval on Sunday.
Ken Hinkley has spoken extensively about his team’s need to go from good to great since power was in lost to the Western Bulldogs in the ninth round and his charges took a step in the right direction.
The coach has expressed the utmost confidence that his team is capable of the size they long for to be achieved with hard work later in the season.
This level was seen earlier than promised, however, when the rampant force kicked the first seven goals of the game to take a 40-point lead on the first move.
Port failed to maintain that dominance and the resurgent Fremantle cut the lead to 31 points at halftime and 28 points on the last move, but there was still much to like in a performance shared by Ollie Wines, Karl Amon and T ravis Boak.
The worrying slow starts of power have been replaced by a blistering start against the Dockers. The opening conditions of Port had been a topic of conversation, having been surpassed in six out of ten first quarters and three of the previous four, but Amon was instrumental in ensuring that the ignited power put the visitors under the sword.
Was Amon Leader with a club record of 16 possessions in the first quarter – 12 of which came in the first 12 minutes – while Charlie Dixon was moved to the center circle for the opening jump, where he set the tone with his physicality. The Bullocking striker and Sam Powell-Pepper scored two goals for the season.
Since the big bookends Matt Taberner (ankle) and Griffin Logue (calf) were missing in the line-up, the Dockers were at sea early, but Nat Fyfe started a fight in the second quarter.
After Fremantle started the game eight behind, the skipper slammed through the first goal of the second quarter with Adam Cerra and Andrew Brayshaw also important as the guests the last three goals of the second quarter came in.
The Dockers advanced in the second half, narrowing the gap to 24 points, but Peter Ladhams scored a critical target to stop Freo’s momentum. The big ruckman ran through the central square and sent a long pass forward that cleared Steven Motlop and shot through a goal that gave Port a 28-point break after three quarters.
Fyfe kicked the first goal of the last quarter but was deprived of opportunity for a second when he received a free kick 25 yards in front of him. Rory Lobb took advantage and played the handball to David Mundy, who shot his hasty shot wide. It proved a costly mistake when Ladhams marked on the goal line for the second time before Miles Bergman, who was in the Last season he came on for the injured Ryan Burton, made the points safe and scored a goal with his first touch to increase the lead to 33 points.
PHELAN’S BEST: Wines, Amon, Boak, Houston, Dixon, Powell-Pepper, gray. DOCKERS: Cerra, Fyfe, Brayshaw, Aish, Mundy, Ryan.
TARGETING: Dixon 3, Powell-Pepper 3, Fantasia 2, Gray 2, Ladhams 2, Marshall 2, Amon, Georgiades, Farrell, Bergman. DOCKERS: Fyfe 2, Colyer, Crowden, Henry, Walters, Schultz, Mundy, Lobb.
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