Port Adelaide has shown why it is on top of the AFL ladder, producing a stunning surge to overwhelm the Western Bulldogs by 13 points in Monday night’s match.
- The result moves the Power a win clear of the Lions, who play the Tigers on Tuesday night
- The Bulldogs had led at half-time but the Power produced a dominant third quarter to take charge
- Charlie Dixon and Robbie Gray each kicked two goals for the Power
A ruthless third quarter from the Power laid the platform for the 8.7 (55) to 5.12 (42) win at Adelaide Oval.
The victory leaves the Power a win clear atop the table from Brisbane, who meet reigning premiers Richmond in a round-10 encounter on Tuesday night.
The Bulldogs remain eighth and are stuck in a mid-ladder jam. They are equal on premiership points with three other clubs.
The Power’s triumph was created by a brutal 16-minute purple patch in the third term, which reaped four unanswered goals after they had trailed the visitors for the entire first half.
The Power’s attacking tandem of Charlie Dixon and Robbie Gray slotted two goals each, while Zak Butters was their prime ball winner with 24 disposals.
Onballers Ollie Wines (18 touches) and Tom Rockliff (23 possessions) provided the midfield grunt, and Tom Jonas and Trent McKenzie led a miserly defence.
Ruckman Peter Ladhams was influential with 18 disposals and 32 hit-outs.
The Bulldogs’ Sam Lloyd and Toby McLean kicked two goals apiece. McLean’s goals were the visitors’ only majors from midway through the second quarter until midway through the last.
Bulldogs Jack Macrae (28 disposals), Tom Liberatore (25 possessions), captain Marcus Bontempelli (22 touches, eight clearances) and Bailey Smith (20 touches) battled hard but could not prevent their club sliding to a fifth loss of the season.
Power utility Sam Mayes faces a likely sanction for a shoulder bump that struck the head of Josh Dunkley in the opening term.
Fortunately for Mayes, Dunkley was only momentarily stunned and continued playing as the Bulldogs took an early ascendancy without returns on the scoreboard.
The Bulldogs held a three-point half-time lead, 3.5 (23) to 3.2 (20), despite recording 25 to 12 inside 50s in the opening two terms.
They then paid for their attacking impotency when the tide turned to the Power in the third quarter.
The Power booted four goals in a 16-minute blitz, including two in three minutes to spearhead Dixon.
The home side dominated the clearances and territory, recording 17 to three inside 50s, in a match-defining quarter.
And unlike the Bulldogs in the first half, the Power converted their control into scores, booting 4.3 to 0.1 for the term for a 23-point lead at the final change.
The Power meet Richmond at Adelaide Oval next Saturday to kick off round 11, while the Bulldogs play Brisbane at the Gabba on the same day.