Dominant second half sees Port to victory over Suns

Port took a while to warm to their task, as the Suns proved hot early.

Gold Coast could conceivably have had six goals on the board at quarter-time but for the fingertips of Dougal Howard and Tom Clurey denying Ben Ainsworth and Brayden Fiorini, respectively, in time-on.

The Suns’ nine-point quarter-time lead flattered the hosts, who appeared unwilling to play to the at times wild, wet conditions.

The Power overcame a poor first half to run away with the win.

The Power overcame a poor first half to run away with the win.Credit:AAP

David Swallow’s thumping, creative hack off the turf, which resulted in an easy six-pointer to Jack Bowes, was a perfect example of smart wet-weather footy but Port slowly found another gear and took the lead when Gray goaled.

Xavier Duursma was pinged for a deliberate out-of-bounds in the dying moments of the second term, which resulted in Ainsworth giving the Suns back the lead at half-time when he threaded the needle after the siren.

The third term was all Port.

Boak racked up 11 disposals for the term — nine of them contested — as the Power took complete control, thanks to strong advantages in inside 50s (22-4), contested possessions (52-35) and even tackles (24-13).

Steven Motlop converted a free late before handing one off to Connor Rozee to push Port ahead by 13 points at three-quarter-time.

The Power continued to dominate, finishing with 43-9 inside 50s after half-time as the Suns froze to a complete standstill and had no fight left in them.

SA dims Suns again

Gold Coast’s first-ever AFL win came against Port, way back in 2011.

There has only been darkness for the Suns ever since.

They have lost their past 10 on the trot against the Power which, coupled with an 0-12 all-time record against Adelaide, gives them a 1-22 record against the two SA-based teams.

Playing dry in the wet

The heavens opened during the opening term but Port failed to adjust their play accordingly — and were made to pay.

A risky centring kick in defence from Tom Rockliff allowed Sexton, Gold Coast’s leading goal-kicker in 2019, to bomb truly from well outside the 50-metre arc.

Then a few minutes later, Howard’s endeavours via foot proved to be too cute and resulted in a horrible turnover and another goal to Sexton, giving the Suns the early advantage before Port eventually — and emphatically — changed their approach.

Rock on report

The Power face an anxious few days after Rockliff had his number taken for tripping Anthony Miles midway through the second stanza.

The potential absence of Rockliff, one of just two members of Port’s side on Sunday who is averaging more than 20 touches a game this season (along with Boak), next Saturday against Hawthorn would be a blow for the Power, already ravaged by a swag of injuries to senior players.

PORT ADELAIDE 3.1 6.3 9.9 13.11 (89)
GOLD COAST 4.4 6.7 7.8 7.9 (51)
GOALS — Port: Frampton 3, Farrell 3, Rozee 2, Amon, Butters, Ryder, S. Gray, Motlop. Gold Coast: Sexton 2, Fiorini, Martin, Bowes, Ainsworth, Wright
BEST — Port Adelaide: Boak, S. Gray, Rozee, Clurey, Byrne-Jones, Rockliff. Gold Coast: Fiorini, MacPherson, Harbrow, Bowes, Ballard, Weller.
UMPIRES: Brown, McInerney, Wallace
CROWD: 26,129 at Adelaide Oval

Travis Boak (Port Adelaide) 8
Brayden Fiorini (Gold Coast) 8
Sam Gray (Port Adelaide) 7
Connor Rozee (Port Adelaide) 7
Tom Clurey (Port Adelaide) 6

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