Jason Horne-Francis leads Port Adelaide to victory in club debut
Port dominates second half against Brisbane
PRIZE recruit Jason Horne-Francis led Port Adelaide’s remarkable second-half turnaround on his club debut as the Power smashed Brisbane by 54 points at Adelaide Oval on Saturday.
Port piled on eight goals to one in a dominant third term after trailing by 18 points late in the first half, with 2021 No.1 pick Horne-Francis, who joined Port from North Melbourne in the off-season, dominating with 10 disposals including three clearances and five inside 50s for the quarter.
Horne-Francis was well supported by Port’s next generation of talent with Zak Butters (23 disposals and seven score involvements) and Connor Rozee (23 disposals including 10 score involvements and six tackles) outstanding as Port won 18.18 (126) to 11.6 (72).
Ollie Wines and Jason Horne-Francis lead the way
Brownlow medalist Ollie Wines accumulated a game-high 29 disposals, but Horne-Francis arguably made the most telling impact with a game-high 10 inside 50s, joint game-high four centre clearances and 11 score involvements, behind only Charlie Dixon (12).
Port kicked 13.9 to 3.3 after half-time, dominating the second half with 205-110 disposals (405-263 for the game), 37-15 inside 50s (65-40) and 71-44 contested possessions (150-117).
Port’s tall forwards take advantage of Brisbane’s shorter backline
Chris Fagan’s decision to select a shorter backline appeared to backfire, with Port taking 24-6 marks inside 50 with their tall forwards among the goals.
Sharp-shooter Todd Marshall starred up forward with four goals while Junior Rioli, Lachie Jones and Dixon all grabbed three each for Port, while Jack Gunston and Zac Bailey got two apiece for Brisbane.
Daniel Rich stands out for Brisbane in a disappointing display
Lions half-back Daniel Rich had 26 touches with a game-high 1,010 metres gained but he was a lone hand in a disappointing display from last season’s preliminary finalists.
Brisbane booted seven of eight goals to open up their three-goal buffer after Port failed to capitalise on their first-quarter domination, but Charlie Dixon’s major on the half-time siren kept the Power in touch.
Port’s ferocity around the contest turns the game around
The Lions appeared to be coasting to victory in a lopsided second term where Dixon gifted Rich a goal with a 100m penalty for apparent dissent, while 2022 No.2 pick Will Ashcroft got his first AFL goal from his third disposal.
The Power flipped the script after half-time, with Brisbane not helped by Joe Daniher and Darcy Wilmot spurning gilt-edged opportunities inside 50, but Port’s ferocity around the contest was the major change.
Junior Rioli impresses on debut for Port Adelaide
From Dixon’s goal late in the second, Port booted eight goals in a row in a massive momentum swing. Horne-Francis capped the term by tackling Hugh McCluggage, who went without a disposal in the quarter, for holding the ball, before finding an open Dixon who kicked truly.
The one-way traffic of the third quarter continued into the last, with goals inside the first eight minutes from Dixon, Wines and Rozee putting the game beyond Brisbane’s reach.
Junior Rioli was Port’s other big off-season addition alongside Horne-Francis and he was a key player in the first half, with two goals, 10 disposals and six score involvements. Rioli also pulled off a hanger over Harris Andrews, and went on to sell some candy to Jarryd Berry, skipping past and slotting his second goal. The ex-West Coast livewire has the potential to be a big fan favourite at his new club.
Disappointing start for Brisbane’s premiership campaign
Brisbane has been billed as one of the main premiership contenders this season, helped by the acquisitions of Josh Dunkley, Gunston, Ashcroft and Conor McKenna in the off-season. Dunkley was the Lions’ best at the coalface, with a game-high 14 contested possessions, while Gunston had limited supply, finishing with two goals from nine touches. Ashcroft started slow but worked his way into the game with a classy goal to finish with 13 disposals. Irishman McKenna was impressive on his return to the AFL, with 20 touches and a long-range goal.
Port Adelaide’s SANFL side also in action
In the first hit out for 2023, Port Adelaide’s SANFL side showed good signs and was able to get valuable game time into a number of players despite falling to the Roosters at Thebarton Oval.
Ken Hinkley proud of Port Adelaide’s performance
Ken Hinkley has expressed pride in Port Adelaide’s four quarter effort against the Lions, pleased that his side was able to maintain the intensity in a fast-paced hit out.
Port Adelaide starts 2023 with a bang
Port Adelaide has started 2023 with a 54-point win over Brisbane in front of its home crowd.
Female stars set to play for Port Adelaide SANFLW
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