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Crows downed by Port in JLT

Lee Gaskin, AFL Media and staff writers  March 10, 2018 6:52 PM

Highlights: JLT 2 v Port The Power v Crows clash in JLT

Adelaide has gone down to cross-town rivals Port Adelaide by 26 points in their JLT Community Series encounter at Alberton Oval on Saturday, the Club’s final hit-out before the start of the home and away season.

Power recruit Jack Watts – often maligned during his 153 games at Melbourne - looked right at home in his new surroundings with a six-goal haul. 

Defenders Darcy Byrne Jones and Dougal Howard were excellent, veterans Justin Westhoff and Robbie Gray found plenty of the ball and ex-Geelong speedster Steven Motlop looked exciting, but the Power could be without defender Jasper Pittard for the start of the season with a hamstring injury.

Trailing by 26 points at half time, the Power turned the game on its head with 12 goals straight to three, en route to winning 16.2 (98) to 11.6 (72).

Highly-rated youngster Darcy Fogarty was a standout for the Crows, the 18-year-old booting three first-half goals to rocket into round one calculations, especially if captain Taylor Walker can't recover in time from a foot injury.

"At half time, we were playing some good footy, I thought we were not only attacking and moving the ball pretty well, but we were defending the game pretty well," Crows coach Don Pyke said.

"In the second half, we went away from some of the things that worked for us in the first half.

"It's probably a nice, gentle reminder if we drift away from those things, like any footy team, you're going to be under the pump a little bit."

The Power relished the sweltering 34-degree heat, running the game out the better of the two sides to the delight of the 6,157-strong crowd at their traditional home.

Pittard grabbed his right hamstring when attempting to tackle Crows winger Rory Atkins at the eight-minute mark of the third quarter.

Power speedster Aidyn Johnson (illness) and Crows forward Harry Dear (omitted) dropped out of their respective squads before the game.

WHAT WE LEARNED
Port Adelaide: The Power's forward structure, which was one of their downfalls last year, looks a lot better with Jack Watts alongside Charlie Dixon. Watts gives another genuine tall target who can beat his opponent one-on-one. Steven Motlop showed his pace and dash through the midfield.
 

Adelaide: The Crows were unable to turn the tide once the Power got on a roll. It was the same situation that happened to them on several occasions last year. They need to be able to find a way to right the ship and get back on course when the opposition get the upper hand. 

NEW FACES
Port Adelaide: Jack Watts impressed playing alongside Charlie Dixon in the Power's forward line, booting six goals and showing his strength one-on-one. Ex-Geelong speedster Steven Motlop provided dash across half-forward and through the midfield. Dom Barry was quiet on the wing. Former Gold Coast defender Trent McKenzie didn't play the first half, but racked up 10 disposals in the second to put himself in the mix for round one as a possible replacement for the injured Jasper Pittard.
 

Adelaide: Darcy Fogarty put himself firmly into round one calculations with a superb performance, the No.12 overall pick in last year's draft booting three goals in the first half and leading superbly. At the other end of the age spectrum, 31-year-old Sam Gibson – recruited from North Melbourne during the trade period - found plenty of the ball on the wing. Bryce Gibbs didn't have the same impact as his first game for the club, but still did some nice things. Tom Doedee looked good at times, while small forward Lachlan Murphy applied pressure in the forward half and ran hard. Both are chances to debut in round one. 

NEXT UP
The Power will aim to take their winning momentum into their season-opener against Fremantle at Adelaide Oval on Saturday, March 24 at 4.05pm (ACDT). The Crows take on Essendon at Etihad Stadium on Friday, March 23, at 7.50pm (AEDT).

PORT ADELAIDE      3.1     4.2      10.2    16.2 (98)
ADELAIDE                4.2     8.4      9.5      11.6 (72)

GOALS
Port Adelaide: Watts 6, Wingard 2, S Gray 2, R Gray 2, Westhoff, Dixon, Ryder, Howard
Adelaide: Fogarty 3, Gibbs 2, Atkins 2, McGovern, Lynch, Sloane, Gibson

BEST 
Port Adelaide: Watts, Byrne-Jones, Howard, Westhoff, Motlop, R Gray
Adelaide: Gibson, Crouch, Fogarty, Gibbs, Atkins, Sloane

INJURIES
Port Adelaide: Pittard (hamstring)
Adelaide: Keath (ankle)

Reports: Nil

Umpires: Chamberlain, Stevic, Fisher

Official crowd: 6157 at Alberton Oval