AFL Round 7 Preview: Port Adelaide v West Coast

WHERE: Adelaide Oval, Saturday, May 6, 2.05pm AWST

THE LAST FIVE
R9, 2016: West Coast Eagles 14.10 (94) def Port Adelaide 13.8 (86) at Adelaide Oval
R6, 2015: West Coast Eagles 11.12 (78) def Port Adelaide 10.8 (68) at Adelaide Oval
R5, 2014: Port Adelaide 10.10 (70) def West Coast Eagles 7.14 (56) at Domain Stadium
R5, 2013: Port Adelaide 12.12 (84) def West Coast Eagles 10.19 (79) at AAMI Stadium
R21, 2012: West Coast Eagles 14.14 (98) def Port Adelaide 6.14 (50) at AAMI Stadium

OVERVIEW

It has been an interesting week out west. The Eagles cruised to victory in Western Derby XLV, a full-grown man named Fitzi sent the football world alight with rumours of Nat Fyfe unofficially agreeing to a $1.5M/year deal with St Kilda, and it is still almost impossible to get a real understanding of just how good (or bad) the Eagles are.

In Australia’s south, however, things are much, much different. While the Adelaide Crows are flying, Port Adelaide is flying well under the radar, sitting fifth on the AFL ladder after six rounds.

If Robbie Gray could kick straight, he looks set to kick a bag of 15 one week. For the Eagles, Jeremy McGovern will continue to mark just about everything that comes his way. However, look for this game to be won and lost in the midfield.

TALKING POINTS

1. While Port Adelaide might be 4-2, in terms of pure statistics, their start to the year has been much better than their record suggests. The Power is the second highest scoring team in the competition, whilst also boasting the stingiest defence in the league. The Eagles are ranked sixth in both scoring and fewest points conceded.

2. You probably did not hear about it but Matt Priddis broke the AFL record for all-time tackles over the weekend. Priddis has now laid 1,511 tackles in just 225 games. To put that into perspective, it took Lenny Hayes 297 to lay 1,496 and Jude Bolton 325 for 1,490.

3. Whatever it is about the MCG that makes West Coast look like a WAFL side, it certainly does not happen at the Adelaide Oval. The Eagles have made Adelaide Oval a happy hunting ground, winning four of their five games at the venue.

4. Nic Naitanui and Scott Lycett were both best on ground for West Coast against the Power in round nine last year.

5. Josh Kennedy loves kicking bags. In fact, he kicked seven goals last time out against the Power. Who will stop the Eagles’ big man this time around?

MOST AT STAKE FOR… Jonathan Giles.

Even if Nathan Vardy gets up for this game (and he will be given every chance), the majority of the ruck load is going to fall on Jonathan Giles’ hairy, hairy shoulders. Giles beat Sam Jacobs soundly at the Adelaide Oval last season, collecting 15 touches, 29 hit-outs, and booting a goal, so Adelaide Oval should hold no fears for the journeyman.

TIP: West Coast by 6.

SECOND TIP: A Port fan does something racist.

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