WHERE AND WHEN: AAMI Stadium, Saturday June 2, 7.10pm
LAST TIME: Port Adelaide 7.7 (49) defeated by Carlton 16.15 (111), round 11, 2011 at AAMI Stadium
Carlton’s 58 point win against Melbourne didn’t exactly prove anything to us; and on the same account neither did Port Adelaide’s dispatching of the Gold Coast in the second half. This is the game that must ring alarm bells for Brett Ratten, questionable form and injury concerns has pervaded the Blues camp, and now it must dig deep to hold out all threats to keep it’s flickering and minute hopes of a Top 4 berth alive.
For the first time since Round 21, 2010; Port Adelaide have won two games in a row. Going to AAMI stadium to face them is no longer a cakewalk, seeing mid-table sides in the Saints and the Roos fail in their attempts so far this season. If the Blues fail to switch on, the Power might have something nasty in store.
WHY SHOULD YOU TUNE IN?
From commentators to supporters, many have sniped at Bryce Gibbs in the past few weeks. The former number one pick is currently in a form slump; and on a cold night in Adelaide he has to look to somehow re-ignite the spark. He averages 21 disposals a game against the Power and will look to move back into a position in which he can best utulise his potential. His attack on the ball and his defensive standards have been questioned of late, so it’s time to step up.
On the other side of the coin, questioning Carlton’s hardness at the contest has seemed to work wonders for the fearless Mitch Robinson. His response and body langauge against the Dees was something Blues fans would be pleased with. Marc Murphy’s absence will see Ratten stick stronger bodied players around the contest to counter the opposition numbers around the ball tactic used by teams against Carlton. The likes of Mitch Robinson, Brock McLean and possibly Nick Duigan will add some ferocity and strength back to a depleated midfield.
Travis Boak was in the media spotlight following speculation of a rift between himself and Power coach Matthew Primus, while in the lead-up to this week’s encounter with Carlton, the reigning Best and Fairest winner revealed he will return to visit his family in Victoria during Port’s mid-season break to decide his much-publicised playing future. The question remains how he’ll play in the space between Port’s bye. Will he be look to consolidate his future at the club by putting in an effort, or go out with the same enthusiasm as the Dees senior players who are leading trade rumors?
Power forward Jay Schulz could have gone close to a career-best game against the Suns, but his normally dependable radar was off. He booted five behinds from set shots last weekend, after kicking seven goals straight the week before. Considering Lachie Henderson is out, a smaller player in Michael Jameson will take the key Port forward. His influence is crucial to any chance Port have.
The result will depend on how the Power play. If they have a crack at contests and get on top in the middle, it could spell trouble for Carlton. But, the top line class of the Blues will hopefully be enough to get the job done.
Carlton by 25.
Round 10 teams: http://www.bigfootynews.com/category/teams/