Port look past Swans to top three spot - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Port look past Swans to top three spot

By Adrian Warren 23/05/2009 02:44:20 PM Comments (0)

Port Adelaide have the incentive of a top three spot if they can break their recent run of outs against Sydney in Sunday's AFL clash at the SCG.

The South Australian club entered round nine as one of three teams on 5-3, three victories behind unbeaten early pacesetters Geelong and St Kilda and four points above a gaggle of four other clubs, including Sydney (4-4).

With Western Bulldogs losing to St Kilda on Friday night and Brisbane playing away at St Kilda on Sunday afternoon, Port have the opportunity to go outright third with a victory.

However, the Power have lost their last four games to Sydney and haven't beaten the Swans since round two of the 2006 campaign.

Both Sydney and Port have struggled to string together successive victories with the Swans yet to achieve that this season, while the Power have done it just once.

Sydney coach Paul Roos and his Port counterpart Mark Williams have each foreshadowed a massive battle at the stoppages, an area in which both teams excel.

"The stoppages are really important to them, it's a massive challenge for our ruckmen and our midfielders this week," Roos said.

Resilient Sydney ruckman Darren Jolly, who will play his 100th consecutive game, leads the league in hitouts with the Port duo of Dean Brogan and Brendon Lade sixth and eighth respectively.

Sydney head the AFL in hitouts, with Port running third.

"The game will be about winning stoppages and getting into our forward line before they do," Williams said.

"It will be a competitive game, just grinding it out and trying to get over the line first."

Sydney will be wary of rejuvenated Port veteran Warren Tredrea and also Daniel Motlop.

Footage of Motlop kicking goals from all angles has caught the attention of Roos, who expressed a mixture of admiration and concern.

In a week which the AFL has earmarked as its indigenous round, Sydney will be looking to reward the excellence of their two aboriginal superstars Michael O'Loughlin and Adam Goodes.

They have made more AFL appearances than any other players on the Swans list, with O'Loughlin currently the club's all-time games record holder.

"They are unbelievable players, but are better people," Roos said.

"They are the whole package, we can't speak highly enough of them."

Sydney made one change to the team which beat West Coast, replacing rookie Brett Meredith with Nick Malceski.

Port made three changes, promoting youngsters Marlon Motlop and Matt Westhoff and regaining Steven Salopek from injury.

Nathan Krakouer is out with injury and David Rodan and Jason Davenport have been dropped.

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