June 15, 2024

Match report: Port Adelaide play out highly competitive internal trial

PORT ADELAIDE has played out a physical and highly competitive internal trial match as it prepares for its first clash with AFL opposition.

On a warm Friday evening at the redeveloped Alberton Oval, a black team that chopped and changed snuck home by a solitary goal.

Rather than a probables against possibles match as is often seen in pre-season, the Port Adelaide coaches opted for two well matched teams, pinning a strong forward line against a well balanced backline, with first choice midfielders spread across both teams.

Connor Rozee and Zak Butters, the new leadership duo, and Charlie Dixon, the new recruit Esava Ratogolea, were among the fascinating matchups on the field.

fresh rucks Ivan Soldo and Jordan Sweet squared off in the middle, with the former Richmond premiership player winning the early exchange. Inside the 50, Soldo was the recipient of a precise Ollie Wines kick, but he was unable to convert the set shot that followed.

As part of a black team midfield that included Jason Horne-Francis and Ollie Wines, new captain Rozee looked to find time and space to set up a goal for Darcy Byrne-Jones. Not to be outdone, vice captain Butters added one of the highlights of the first quarter, bouncing through the middle several times before finishing off a goal on the run from 35 meters out. One of the biggest cheers of the first term came from forward Mitch Georgiades, who was playing in his first minutes since fully recovering from a long-term knee injury.

Following the first half, the coaches began to make substitutions, with Butters, Jackson Mead, and Lachie Jones going one way and Wines, Rozee, and Dylan Williams going the other way.

As the second quarter went on, Sweet would also switch sides, with Preston Cockatoo-Collins, a player on the SANFL, scoring two goals for the white team and Sam Powell-Pepper and Todd Marshall scoring two goals each for the black team. The game was fairly even, with the black team leading by two goals at the main change.

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