Power lose their first game of the AFL season in round six.
North Melbourne has ended Port Adelaide’s perfect start to the AFL season, after narrowly defeating the Power by 10 points at Blundstone Arena.
After trailing only fractionally in the first quarter, the Kangaroos were never behind for the rest of the clash, however, the Power were completely out of the contest.
Even in the final few minutes of the fourth term the Kangaroos had to hang on from a spirited Port fightback, which just fell short 14.9 (93) to 12.11 (83).
North Melbourne led by as much as 39 in the second term before a Chad Wingard goal with 10 minutes left brought the margin back to 25
Jay Schulz snapped across his body to see Port kick the last three to bring them back into the game at 19 behind before trailing by just 15 at the long break.
North captain Andrew Swallow said his side needed to work more off the ball if they were to keep the Power at an arm’s length.
“We needed to lift our work rate more, we knew they wanted to run the ball more we let them,” Swallow said.
“We just need to be a bit smarter going forward and we have to get that pressure back on them that we had in the first quarter.”
North began the third quarter as they did the game with plenty of run through the middle
of the field giving them a 34-point lead
Drew Petrie began to exert his presence again on the game while Lindsay Thomas continued his impressive form this season to score an important goal early in the last term.
Port Adelaide’s run and transition off half-back was smothered by North, a big reason
why the Kangaroos earned the lead they had.
But yet again Port fired back late in the fourth quarter to give themselves a sniff of yet another
come-from-behind victory as they closed to within 15 via another goal from Schulz.
But it wasn’t to be as the Power dropped their first game of the season, the first game their coach Ken Hinkley was not at the ground, after being struck down with illness and advised not to fly with the team.
The win keeps the Kangaroos in touch with the top eight just, but they could slip further down the standings at the end of the round with Carlton, Adelaide, Gold Coast and Brisbane all having a game in hand.
Despite it being their first loss of the year, the Power will know they are capable of better performances and will move forward as they look to consolidate their place in the top three when they take on Richmond next weekend.