Preview: Power v Freo
WHERE AND WHEN: Encounter Bay Oval, Saturday March 10, 3.40pm
LAST TIME: Port Adelaide 14.6 (90) defeated by Fremantle 21.16 (142) round 9, 2011 at AAMI Stadium
TV, RADIO AND BETTING: Click here for broadcast guide
THE FOUR POINTS
1. The Power have shown far more fight already in 2012 and look to have heeded coach Matthew Primus’s call to stay competitive throughout matches. With a host of their best players back this weekend, the return of experience and class could be enough to get them through.
2. Young ruckman Jarrad Redden wants Port’s No. 1 ruck spot. Fremantle’s Aaron Sandilands is unlikely to play but with Jonathan Griffin and Zac Clarke sharing the ruck duties, Redden will have his work cut out for him if he’s to impress.
3. John Butcher impressed in his four games at the end of last season and has done so again in the NAB Cup. After five goals in three quarters last week, he looks set for a huge season and is sure to cause Fremantle’s backline a few headaches.
4. The Power’s midfield could be potent in 2012 if everything clicks. Collingwood recruit John McCarthy was superb last week and with Travis Boak and Dom Cassisi returning on Saturday, they will look to control the middle.
1. Fremantle will see the return of captain Matthew Pavlich this weekend after he sat out of their 38-point win over Richmond. A strong leader and undisputed superstar, no matter how you look at it, the ‘Pav’ is a big inclusion.
2. It’s going to be a defensive audition on Saturday, with the competition for spots in the backline fierce. Luke McPharlin was back last weekend, but with, Zac Dawson, Antoni Grover, Alex Silvagni and Peter Faulks all vying for a job as a tall defender, who’s going to miss out?
3. Nat Fyfe was on fire against Richmond, collecting 25 disposals before being subbed off at three-quarter-time. The scary thing for opposition sides, though, is that he believes he’s yet to reach peak fitness. Expect him to get better as the season opener approaches.
4. Jayden Pitt, a 2010 first-round draft pick, booted three goals against the Tigers after bulking up over the preseason. And he looked far more composed under pressure than he has in the past. He combined nicely with Kepler Bradley (three goals) and with some experience returning, could help form a dangerous attack in Victor Harbor.