Will we see a flag or another Power outage?
The Clemente Code by William Clemente
As we see in every commencement of an AFL season, we see an emergence of favourites to claim the flag at seasons end. This has become a formality for all footy experts and enthusiasts, not just an activity to keep the punters enthused. A club that is always thrown into the pool of possibility is South Australia’s own, Port Adelaide. Even though they have played a great brand of football and have an impressive list, they have always fallen short. Every new season puts past woes behind, and it is an immense opportunity for a footy club to make their mark in the competition. The Power have once again been hailed as a potential contender to bring the flag back to South Australia, will we see this happen when the seasons draws to a close in September.
In 2020’s COVID struck season, the Power finished strongly claiming the title of ‘Minor Premiers’ and it gave the Port Adelaide faithful a lot of optimism. It was for the Power to lose they the possibility of claiming their second AFL premiership in the palm of their hands, however; as we all know they suffered a gut-wrenching defeat to the hands of eventual premiers, Richmond at the Adelaide Oval in the preliminary final.
Even though the 2020 season came to a close of extreme disappointment for the Power, there is still a lot of optimism surrounding the club and their faithful. The Power are currently sitting in fifth position on the ladder after nine rounds and in what is looking like an extremely competitive top four, Port is within fingertip distance. With six victories and three defeats so far, the ladder position forecasts a fruitful season ahead for the men in teal.
However, the contents of their three defeats are extremely worrying for the Power and their large die-hard support base. Their defeats have been ay the hands at the Eagles in Perth, the Lions in Brisbane and most recently the Bulldogs at the Adelaide Oval which has been described as Port’s fortress in recent seasons.
These defeats are extremely concerning because they have occurred against three sides who are positioned in the top eight. The only victory they have attained against a top eight outfit was a two-point victory against the Tigers at the Adelaide Oval in round four who are still searching for stability in their premiership defence. In a recent story published by Fox Sports News in their aftermath of their Bulldogs defeat, they have been hailed as the ‘great seducers’.
Why is this? Why have a club of favouritism for the flag potentially claimed this title? It is because the Power fail against sides of extreme quality even though they are a side of quality themselves, respectively. With a powerful, dominant midfield lead by Ollie Wines and Travis Boak, and a commanding defence lead by Darcy Byrne-Jones and Aliir Aliir; their contest against the Dogs highlighted their struggles offensively. When their power forward who was last seasons runner up to Coleman Medal, Charlie Dixon does not fire they struggle for goals. Dixon remained goalless against West Coast, Brisbane and Richmond and he scored a couple of constellation goals in the final term against the Bulldogs. Against quality top eight sides who possess sound structured defences; the Port Adelaide forward line struggles to apply the scoreboard pressure.
It is an open season as they all are, and we are still enduring the early stages. The Power thus far again shown that they fail to reply when their brand of football is found out. They have the season to work on it and to progress. The Power will be there competitively in September without a doubt, but will the flag return to Alberton? Let’s just say that pigs can fly!