WHERE AND WHEN: Simonds Stadium, Sunday, July 1, 1.10pm
Port Adelaide will face the imposing task of taking on Geelong at Skilled Stadium when they meet this weekend.
Port will have to be wary of Geelong as they will be back with a vengeance this week after a close loss to Sydney last week. The race for the eight is close this year and they will want to make sure of game such as these that they would have locked in at the start of the season.
Meanwhile the Power is coming off a bye and two heavy losses. They are well rested and will expect to at least be competitive and maybe even snatch a win.
Both teams have made a slew of changes, Port have made the most significant changes with the huge losses of Dominic Cassisi, Hamish Hartlett, Jackson Trengrove and Jay Schulz all to injury. The Power also loose Jarrad Redden and Matt Thomas while the only player of such quality of these six players that is David Rodan. John Butcher also returns and will hope to kick some goals.
As for the Cats they lose plenty of experience in the form of Paul Chapman, Josh Hunt and David Wojinski. This experience has not been replaced with the inclusions as they are all very young including debutant Jordan Murdoch.
Players to Watch
Podsiadly loves Skilled Stadium and regularly kicks bags of goals when playing there. With Port’s outs they will be undermanned in defense giving Podsiadly plenty of opportunity: he should have a day out.
The Power’s outs will again play a factor, this time in Scarlett’s influence. Port have lost a lot of height in their forward line with these outs, as a result the first few forwards will go to the likes of Harry Taylor and Tom Lonergan. As a result Scarlett will probably get a third sting forward that will probably allow Scarlett to get off the hook and play as he pleases.
Butcher had a amazing finish to last year and was looking like the future for Port. But some bad form and injury has meant that he has had limited opportunities. His new inclusion will provide the perfect opportunity to step up and kick a bag.
The Power’s ruckman hasn’t had an extraordinary hear but he has done his job. He is coming up against a Geelong ruck combination that consists of Trent West who has hardly been dominating either. If Renouf can win the contest not only does that give Port’s players first hands on the ball but it restricts Geelong’s access.
Most teams coming off the bye this year have done reasonably well but it seems that Port Adelaide have gotten worse off as they have lost several key players. With these players they may have been a slim chance but without them they will be just trying to be competitive.
Geelong on the other hand will be coming into the game with plenty of confidence. They are normally a safe bet at their fortress and this time will be no different, their premiership class and experience will lead them to victory.
Cats by 44pts
B: Tom Lonergan, Matthew Scarlett, Corey Enright
HB: Joel Corey, Harry Taylor, Taylor Hunt
C: Steven Motlop, James Kelly, Allen Christensen
HF: Andrew Mackie, James Podsiadly, Mathew Stokes
F: Mitch Duncan, Tom Hawkins, Steve Johnson
Foll: Trent West, Joel Selwood, Jimmy Bartel
I/C: Billie Smedts, Cameron Guthrie, George Horlin-Smith, Jordan Murdoch
Emg: Shannon Byrnes, David Wojcinski, Dawson Simpson
In: Billie Smedts, Cameron Guthrie, George Horlin-Smith, Jordan Murdoch
Out: Paul Chapman, Josh Hunt, David Wojcinski, Dawson Simpson
New: Jordan Murdoch (Glenelg)
B: Jacob Surjan, Alipate Carlile, Paul Stewart
HB: Tom Logan, Troy Chaplin, Darren Pfeiffer
C: Kane Cornes, Bradley Ebert, Danyle Pearce
HF: Brett Ebert, Justin Westhoff, Andrew Moore
F: Chad Wingard, John Butcher, Matthew Lobbe
Foll: Brent Renouf, Matthew Broadbent, John McCarthy
I/C: David Rodan, Ben Jacobs, Aaron Young, Thomas Jonas
Emg: Daniel Stewart, Nathan Blee, Cameron O’Shea
In: Alipate Carlile, David Rodan, Matthew Lobbe, John Butcher, Aaron Young, Thomas Jonas
Out: Domenic Cassisi, Matt Thomas, Hamish Hartlett, Jackson Trengove, Jarrad Redden, Jay Schulz