Each game during the finals, Trent Adam Shields and his gang of merry men will be rating the players out of ten for their performances.

These ratings will feed directly into The Mongrel Punt Player of the Finals Award.

Here are the numbers from the Port Adelaide v Geelong clash.

 

 

PORT ADELAIDE:

 

[3] Ryan Burton – 7

This was a big gamble by the Port hierarchy playing Burton who had played only one full game since Round 7, but the former Hawk was superb early taking on the game and finishing with a team high seven marks in an impressive showing.

 

[12] Trent McKenzie – 6

A surprise match up on Coleman Medallist Tom Hawkins from the opening bounce, wayward kicking from the Cats superstar skewed the rating in the Port players favour ultimately. An uncontested marking error led to a late third quarter Dangerfield goal that could’ve been costly, but five marks and eight possessions at 100% ensured he was on the positive side of the ledger.

 

[5] Dan Houston – 5

Consistent Port intercept specialist was quieter than usual in this one recording his second lowest disposals for the season but played his role with three defensive 50 rebounds and two inside 50 thrusts.

 

[8] Hamish Hartlett – 9

One of the best on the night, Hartlett’s eight intercept possessions were a game high, while his seven marks and tackles were both season highs. Spawning the advances of rival clubs to sign a big money five-year deal at Alberton, this was one of Hartlett’s finest moments in the Black & Teal across a 180-game career.

 

[1] Tom Jonas – 7

The Port skipper again led from the front with a disciplined and well organised display from the league’s stingiest defence. Five intercept possessions in amongst seven rebounds from the defensive 50 and numerous efforts peeling off from his direct opponent to spoil the ball clear exactly what we’ve come to expect from the AA squad member.

 

[33] Darcy Byrne-Jones – 6

Celebrating his first AA guernsey, the Power half-back flanker was dicey by foot throughout the evening, but fought hard, sitting under two high balls in the last quarter subsequently called touched and wearing the physical punishment as a result. Recorded a season high five clearances in a solid performance that wouldn’t have lost any fans.

 

[21] Xavier Duursma – 5

The courageous Power youngster contributed to his own downfall through extraordinary bravery in flying back with the flight and being cleaned up by big Cat Mark Blicavs. Began nervously, a poor turnover by foot in the first term immediately rectified by an inspirational spoil backing into a pack.

 

[16] Ollie Wines – 7

The leading disposal getter on the ground was probably less noticeable than usual with a truly workmanlike game that saw 15 of his twenty-four possessions contested. A team leading 435m gained saw him as a constant thorn in the side of the opposition as his five tackles and five clearances quantified his blue-collar credentials.

 

[15] Karl Amon – 5

A quiet night for the Port winger compared to his outstanding output throughout the 2020 season, he none the less showed his value with 340m gained and strong defensive running to limit the impact from Gelong star Sam Menegola. Some deft disposal in the first term where he held possession and assessed the situation set forth several blistering offensive moves by his side.

 

[18] Zak Butters – 6

The precociously talented Butters was a livewire again, throwing around his weight like a much larger man, backing this up with two of his four tackles inside forward 50 as the Power tackled the Cats into submission. A deft tap on midway through the last to set up a steadying Ladhams goal showed the class the AA selectors saw when naming him in the 40-man squad

 

[4] Todd Marshall – 3

Injured early after landing heavily on his shoulder in a marking contest, Marshall was easily handled by a Geelong defence led by Henderson. A well taken late goal from a set shot where he was swamped by teammates might keep the retiring Westhoff sidelined in the Prelim.

 

[7] Brad Ebert – 7

The combative Port veteran was an excellent contributor in a variety of roles, but his impact forward of centre was most apparent with a team-high six scoring involvements along with two goals, including a long range set shot that wrested back the lead on the stroke of the half time siren.

 

[20] Connor Rozee – 4

The final member of the Port triumvirate from the draft class of 2018, Rozee was relatively quiet but still able to deliver two telling inside 50 tackles and a smart major from a tight angle, which he had to after missing the opportunity to run into the open goal.

 

[22] Charlie Dixon – 4

The Power behemoth was held markless for the first time in 101 outings, however a first quarter goal and a crunching tackle on Guthrie, one of three for the night along with countless spilled packs which provided opportunities for his ground level players ensured the Power’s fearsome wizard still played a role.

 

[9] Robbie Gray – 7

Silky smooth, the Port champion was able to impact the game despite not hitting the scoreboard, four clearances 60% up on his season average, along with a  bruising tackle to bring down Cat talisman Dangerfield coupled with his usual array of deft handoffs in traffic highlighted a fine night.

 

[29] Scott Lycett – 6

The lumbering Port ruckman finished with 20 hit outs but had his hands full against the Geelong part timers in Stanley and Blicavs. While far from dominant in the air he was still able to get dirty with four clearances leading his side to a dominant 39-31 advantage in this category.

 

[11] Tom Rockliff – 9

After waiting 205 games for his opportunity under the finals spotlight, the tenacious Port midfielder didn’t let anyone down, and proved his bullocking in close game translates perfectly to the tight confines of the post season. An equal game-high nine tackles, twelve contested possessions, five clearances, to compliment four inside 50s and score involvements the result of an outstanding debut final.

 

[10] Travis Boak – 8 

The former skipper and Brownlow fancy just did what he does, that being play good hard footy and help his team win. 22 disposals, 4 clearances and five tackles, almost exactly his season averages would’ve warmed the heart of coach Ken Hinkley who knows he can always rely on his underrated superstar.

 

[2] Sam Powell-Pepper – 7

The Power’s human battering ram burst from the gates from the opening bounce, collecting a game high five clearances in the first term along with three tackles as he set the tone for the night by physically imposing himself on the contest in close.

 

[6] Steven Motlop – 8

The somewhat surprising hero of the night, the former Cat was sharp from the get-go, pouncing on a spilled mark deep in the forward line for the Power’s first, before collecting two others to be the standout forward in the game. A 100% increase in tackles on his season’s average, something always appeared likely when he had the ball in hand.

 

[17] Tom Clurey – 4

Another player rushed back into this side after injury, Clurey was released from the role on Hawkins which saw him pulverised last time they met but was able to be a solid if inconspicuous contributor to a miserly team defence.

 

[38] Peter Ladhams – 5

The Port big man butchered a set shot at goal early in the third, and several times lost his footing when playing as a linkman through the middle, but bounced back with five score involvements and a critical snapped goal in the last quarter as Geelong was starting to build momentum.

 

GEELONG:

 

[24] Jed Bews – 7

The no fuss son of former captain Andrew was again one of the Cats best collecting an equal team-high six intercept possessions and four score involvements. Under the fierce heat of the Port pressure, he showed his calming influence coolly scooping up a loose ball and directing it safely to a teammate on the wing in the first to set up a scoring chance.

 

[7] Harry Taylor – 7

Tasked with standing man-mountain Charlie Dixon, Taylor was probably fortunate Dixon appeared to have oil on his hands. While he deserves credit for keeping his man quiet, Dixon provided enough of a target to limit Taylor’s ability to zone off, only recording one mark (vs a season average of 3.5), and only 3 intercept possessions (vs a team leading season average of 5.9) which are vital to Geelong’s set up.

 

[8] Jake Kolodjashnij – 4

Started promisingly, even drifting forward with a chance to claim that elusive first career goal, but things went downhill from there, a season-high four clangers and his direct opponent Steven Motlop running riot were a stark contrast to previous finals where he’s performed well.

 

[25] Lachie Henderson – 8

The veteran defender has picked himself up off the scrapheap this season to be a valuable contributor and was the Cats best tonight with an assured performance. 18 disposals and eight marks represented a 50% and 25% increase on his season averages, while he also recorded a team-high six intercepts.

 

[46] Mark Blicavs – 5

A difficult game to assess for Blicavs who spent a significant period of time rucking around the ground as Stanley moved forward. Through necessity and capability Chris Scott uses him in this hybrid role, but despite five tackles and 16 hit outs onlookers can only wonder if his talents are being stymied in this role that is seemingly wasting his major weapons.

 

[44] Tom Stewart – 6

Former AA, Stewart was a good contributor without being influential. 30% down on his season disposal average, and importantly 45% down on his metres gained average, he probably like the rest of the Cats defence were forced to be more accountable than usual due to the Power dominance through the middle of the ground.

 

[2] Zach Tuohy – 6

Tried hard as always, but the swarm of Power runners proved too much in the end. Kicked an excellent second quarter goal in the middle of a Cats purple patch and could’ve had another if he kicked straight. The forced requirement to repeatedly chase energised opponents limited his major weapon of run and carry and he was only able to provide 212m gained, well down on his season average of 380.

 

[14] Joel Selwood – 7

The epitome of heart and soul, the skipper had that look in the first half when he threatened to drag his team over the line with 11 hard-earned disposals and a stunning goal which he willed through after beating three opponents to a loose ball. In the second half he showed his mortality though as the combination of Rockliff, Wines and Boak took complete control of the contests.

 

[27] Sam Menegola – 5

Arguably the unluckiest player to miss selection in the 2020 AA team after a superb season, he was unable to scale those heights last night. Credit to Hinkley who deployed attacking winger Karl Amon in a shutdown role, and while Menegola was still able to find the ball 18 times, more than half were in the second half as Port took control, and his mark tally of 2 was well down on the 6 he claims on average.

 

[40] Luke Dahlhaus – 4

Another Cat who ended up with 16 disposals but with limited impact on the end result. The former Dog was renowned for his work rate and tenacity, attributes that have somewhat deserted him since moving to Kardinia Park. In this match his role was probably marginalised in the wasteland of half forward where Port ruled imperiously.

 

[23] Gary Rohan – 3

A clever goal assist to Stanley for their sole first quarter 6-pointer and a bruising tackle that earned a holding the ball decision against a streaking Tom Clurey aside, unfortunately Gary Rohan returned to type in the Qualifying Final against an opponent unwilling to give him the space he craves.

 

[22] Mitch Duncan – 6

The nature of Port’s strategic victory can be seen in the fact that a typical 19-disposal at 80%, 335m gained outing from Duncan would usually result in him being named in the best, however this was not the case here. Despite his best efforts, Port’s discipline and strong work ethic forced Duncan’s possessions further afield than both he and the coach would like and prevented him moving the ball quickly where he can be so dangerous.

 

[42] Mark O’Connor – 3

The Irishman seemed overawed by the occasion lowering his colours badly, best exemplified by a diabolical reversed free kick as he retaliated to Zac Butters when Guthrie had the ball in an attacking position. He was unable to generate any drive whatsoever illustrated by a damning zero rebounds and a paltry 39m gained.

 

[26] Tom Hawkins – 4

As the Coleman Medallist and best big forward in the game you live and die by the sword, in AFL terms this is by kicking goals. The big Hawk was a constant threat matched on the undersized Trent McKenzie but was unable to capitalise, as two misses in each of the first, second and last quarters for a dismal return of 0.5 clearly show. A game-high nine score involvements painfully outline what could have been.

 

[4] Gary Ablett – 4

The Little Master looked desperately short of the conditioning required for the step up in intensity of a final. Four first term touches were a tease as he finished the night with just ten, the speed and aggression of his opponents too much to handle. Let’s hope he has at least one more exclamation mark to add to a wonderful career before it ends.

 

[1] Rhys Stanley – 6

Competing strongly against the Yosemite Sam moustache of Scott Lycett, Stanley playing his first game since round 14 could’ve made a statement early with a goal and easy miss. He went on to accumulate two goals when switched forward as well two clearances, but might’ve been better served remaining as the ruckman to allow Blicavs to provide drive from the back half.

 

[35] Patrick Dangerfield – 7

The Cat megastar was strangely subdued in this one, or rather not able to impose himself on the contest despite strong numbers, an inspiring 3-bounce goal after latching on to a bad McKenzie error late in the third notwithstanding.

 

[29] Cameron Guthrie – 5

Delivering less than half his average kicks in a game, the newest Cat AA found the going tough with what always appeared a concerted effort to physically harass him. The sheer weight of numbers by his midfield counterparts took the points despite an astonishing nine tackles.

 

[38] Jack Henry – 3

The good, the bad, and the Jack Henry. Another young Cat who completely misread the memo about finals being a completely different game to Home & Away. While competent in the air with four marks, Henry was a liability once the ball hit the ground, and was the winner in a photo finish for worst mistake of the night over O’Connor when he mystifyingly decided he had all the time in the world to stroll through the midfield in the third term, before being swallowed up by a hungry Port pack.

 

[30] Tom Atkins – 3

Preferred to the more decorated Jack Steven, presumably due to his willingness to fight to keep the ball in Geelong’s offensive half, Atkins struggled to contain the free-running Power half backs. A game-high two goal assists were at least a small shining light on an underwhelming performance.

 

[3] Brandan Parfitt – 7

Along with Henderson, probably the Cats best four-quarter performance. The young forward-midfielder took it up to the powerful Port midfield, making good decisions and moving the ball carefully amongst teammates unwilling or unable to do the same.

 

[32] Gryan Miers – 1

The exciting Cat small forward will not want to review the tape on this one, only three disposals to three-quarter time and as Bruce gushed about his ‘traditional’ around the body kicking style he might’ve been better served noting the 28.6% disposal efficiency on a dark night for the youngster.

 

So there you go – I’m sure you’ll have a few ratings of your own. Feel free to let us know.