Power put Eagles to the sword - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Power put Eagles to the sword

By Justin Chadwick 28/02/2010 07:09:02 AM Comments (0)

Port Adelaide set up a NAB Cup semi-final showdown against the Western Bulldogs with a ruthless 78-point thumping of West Coast at a scorching Subiaco Oval on Saturday night.

The Power led by 19 points at half-time but blew the game apart with an eight-goal-to-one third quarter and continued the rout in the final quarter to secure the 4.19.8 (158) to 2.8.14 (80) win.

West Coast dominated the hit-outs 41-10 but it was the Power who cleaned up at ground level, with the Eagles' 'take risks at all costs' approach producing numerous turnovers and ultimately a flurry of Port Adelaide goals.

Justin Westhoff starred for the Power with 23 possessions and two goals, while rookie Cameron Hitchcock (four goals), Mitch Banner (three), Cameron Cloke (two), Scott Harding (two), Jay Schulz (two), Brett Ebert (two) and Jason Davenport (two) did the damage on the scoreboard.

Luke Shuey was a shining light for West Coast with 24 possessions and a super goal while ruckman Dean Cox (16 hit-outs, nine possessions) and Beau Waters made successful returns from injury.

Excitement machine Nic Naitanui (15 possessions, 23 hit-outs, one goal) provided excellent service in the ruck and added spark whenever he went near the ball.

The mercury was still hovering above 37C at bouncedown but the heat failed to deter either side with the game played at a frenetic pace during the opening term in front of 16,231 fans.

West Coast dominated possession in the opening term but it was the Power's more precise ball movement and clean disposal that paid the greater dividends as the visitors went to the first break with a 10-point advantage.

Andrew Moore, taken with pick No.9 by Port in last year's national draft, had his night cut short after colliding heavily with team-mate Cameron Cloke early in the match while running with the flight of the ball.

Cloke, attempting to make a name for himself at his third club after being dumped by Collingwood and Carlton, would have impressed his new boss Mark Williams with two second-quarter goals as the Power leapt out to a 25-point lead late in the term.

But the freakish ability of Naitanui, who dribbled through a goal which only just sneaked inside the left-hand goal post on the half-time siren, reduced the margin to 19 points at the long break.

However, the second half became a walkover as the Power's fledgling list took control.

Port Adelaide's dominance and good fortune was summed up in the final quarter when Hitchcock's kick from 60m missed his target Kane Cornes and rolled through for a super goal.

"To come over and play that well after a couple of weeks off was great," Power coach Mark Williams said.

"I think both sides had a lot of players out. "We play them in four or five weeks time and obviously the teams will be a whole lot different but it's good for our confidence.

"We weren't concerned about the margin, we were working on our game plan and making sure people kept going at it so the score takes care of itself."

Eagles coach John Worsfold rued the number of mistakes his team committed.

"I just don't feel as though we looked like we were ready for the challenge of taking on Port tonight," Worsfold said.

"It looked like we just wanted to get through the game and get it out of the way and it was a run to get some minutes up, that's how it felt. That's disappointing if that's the case."

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