July 14, 2024

Power gun fires, good signs for Crows in tight tussle

Jason Horne-Francis, Riley Thilthorpe and Ned McHenry all shine as Port Adelaide and Adelaide play out a four-quarter draw at Alberton

PORT ADELAIDE midfielder Jason Horne-Francis has shown the benefits of an outstanding pre-season, starring against Adelaide as the two SA rivals played out an entertaining 14.9 (93) draw over four quarters at Alberton on Friday night.

Horne-Francis displayed his familiar power out of the contest and combined it with fine decision-making and familiar agility, complementing superstar teammate Zak Butters and new captain Connor Rozee who both displayed their class.

However the Power face a nervous wait to see whether explosive half-forward Sam Powell-Pepper will be available for round one after his high bump in the first quarter left Adelaide defender Mark Keane concussed.

Keane was helped from the field by trainers and the Crows confirmed shortly afterwards that he had suffered concussion, ruling him out of next Friday’s practice match against West Coast at a minimum.

The good news stories for the Crows centred on the forward line, where a bigger, stronger Riley Thilthorpe (two goals) was powerful in the contest and on the lead, a creative Ned McHenry finished with three goals and Izak Rankine (two majors) was at his mercurial best.

 

The two sides played four 28-minute quarters in front of a healthy crowd of 5,211 at Alberton, before both clubs rang the changes for the final two periods of match simulation. Port Adelaide finished the six-period contest in front by 22 points, 21.12 (138) to 17.14 (116).

Port Adelaide forward Mitch Georgiades continued building towards his top-flight return from an knee reconstruction with three goals in the final three periods of the contest, but first-year small forward Lachie Charleson was on crutches after the game with a leg injury.

 

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