Sport Port recruits shine in win over Crows
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Port Adelaide recruits Aliir Aliir and Orazio Fantasia dominated in a 71-point belting of a lacklustre Adelaide in Sunday's AFL pre-season game.
Aliir was arguably best-afield while Fantasia booted 3.3 in Port's 17.14 (116) to 6.9 (45) win at Noarlunga Oval in Adelaide's south.
Ex-Essendon goalsneak Fantasia only played the opening half before being rested but has slotted seamlessly into Port's attack.
And ex-Sydney utility Aliir shone throughout the entire game, taking 14 marks and collecting 21 disposals.
NRL trials: Who fired and who didn't for each club
From new recruits, players returning from long-term injury lay-offs, and others in need of a big season – these matches were the stepping stone for a big year ahead for many players. With two weeks until the season kicks off on March 11th with the Rabbitohs and Storm, coaches will now begin finetuning having witnessed their team's final hit-out of the season. Here's what we learned from the trials, plus who impressed and who didn't out of your side over the weekend.
"Aliir is quite an aggressive, front-foot defender who likes to intercept the ball. We play something similar like that as a team," Port coach Ken Hinkey said.
"And in the front half we have got some real speed on the ground and Orazio knows exactly where he needs to go.
"He is a smart, crafty forward. And that is what you are looking for in those positions, people who have got real football intelligence - he has certaintly got that."
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The Power were superbly served by Dan Houston (34 disposals) and Zak Butters (24 touches, two goals).
And Robbie Gray (26 disposals), Connor Rozee - who will this week have foot surgery and miss the start of the AFL premiership season - Peter Ladhams and Mitch Georgiades also slotted two majors.
Which bottom four side can make the biggest leap in 2021?
After what felt like an eternity of an offseason (which doesn’t make sense given it was actually shorter), the AFL is back in just two short weeks. That means it’s time for preview articles! Rather than going team-by-team in 2021, we’ll group the teams together based on where they finished last season. Today, I’ll take a look at last year’s bottom four, before moving onto the rest of the non-finalists (Tuesday), the non-top four finalists (next Thursday) and, finally, the reigning top four (the following Tuesday).
Some 18 Power players had a dozen or more disposals to overwhelm the Crows, who unveiled their highest-ever draft pick Riley Thilthorpe.
The 18-year-old, the No.2 selection at last year's draft, came on in the 13th minute of the third quarter but managed just three disposals.
Adelaide stalwarts Taylor Walker (three goals), Brodie Smith (24 possessions) and Rory Laird (25 disposals, 10 tackles) battled gamely but coach Matthew Nicks conceded his side was outclassed.
"They're a better side than us right at this point. They are going to fight it out at the end of the year," Nicks said of Port.
Nicks' wooden-spooners from last season conceded two goals in a tick over two minutes to start the game as Port set an ominous tone.
Fantasia then took the spotlight, booting his first major and having three other shots at goal which missed as Port led 3.6 to 0.1 at quarter-time.
Just 35 seconds into the second term, Fantasia goaled on the run and 10 minutes later he potted another - his 3.3 return eclipsed Adelaide's entire score of 1.2 to halftime.
Port added six more goals to two in the third term, despite resting Fantasia and frontliners Charlie Dixon, Travis Boak and Tom Clurey, before a tame last quarter of a game in which young Adelaide defender Jordan Butts (rolled ankle) was the sole injury.
Port star granted personal leave .
Midfielder-forward Sam Powell-Pepper has taken personal leave to deal with his broken hand and "other parts of my life".The Power today released a statement announcing the midfielder-forward would be away from the club until at least April.