Pickett leads Port to historic win - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Pickett leads Port to historic win

17/05/2003 07:10:18 PM Comments (0)

Port Adelaide coach Mark Williams credited ex-Kangaroos premiership player Byron Pickett's form revival as the spark which set up the Power's first ever win over his old side at AAMI Stadium.

The Power won 15.13 (103) to 7.7 (49), with a 6.6 to nothing last quarter breaking apart what had been a hard slog for three quarters, after early heavy rain and a constant gale made the execution of skills difficult for both sides.

The win meant the Power has now finally beaten every team in the AFL at least once, with today's victory its first in 10 attempts against the Roos since joining the competition in 1997.

"Finally we beat the Kangaroos, it's terrific, and we're very, very pleased we were able to do that," Williams said.

Pickett, much-criticised in the media over the past week for his failure before today to make an impact with Port, finally showed the sort of form which earned him All Australian honours with the Kangaroos in 1999.

He kicked the opening goal of the match and of each of the last two quarters, but more important was his willingness to sacrifice himself for his teammates, with shepherds, smothers, tackles and knock-ons.

A match highlight came early in the second quarter, when a diving smother by Pickett on Matthew Robbins, who was streaming out of defence, set up Chad Cornes for an easy goal.

"He really played with a lot of passion as we know he can," Williams said.

"Significantly for us he has a huge impact on a lot of players, both on the opposition and ours."

Asked whether he had considered dropping Pickett earlier in the year, Williams said he had never doubted he would eventually display his talent.

"He's an All Australian player and never lose sight of the fact that he can really play," he said.

Brothers Shaun and Peter Burgoyne continued their excellent starts to the season, with Shaun kicking four goals to give him 25 from eight matches, while Gavin Wanganeen was superb in both defence and attack.

For the Kangaroos, Adam Simpson did some excellent work in the packs, Anthony Stevens, Shannon Grant and Brent Harvey made useful contributions, and Leigh Colbert did a good job on Chad Cornes.

But a major disappointment for the Kangaroos was scoring only one goal in the second half, after trailing by just two points at halftime.

"Just the capitulation and having too many blokes not contributing, that was the poor thing about the performance," coach Dean Laidley said.

He said Port's running players had become harder to contain as the ground dried out.

"They had a terrific amount of run," he said.

"The way they took the ball out of our forward 50, some of our forwards were meek and mild, falling over and not giving us a contest.

"Those blokes know who they are and we'll address that."

Leigh Harding was reported for allegedly charging Wanganeen in the last term.

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