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Power pips Tigers in a thriller

Power pips Tigers in a thriller

Port Adelaide great Robbie Gray has coolly slotted a clutch set-shot to give the Power a nerve-jangling two-point AFL win over Richmond.

Gray’s 45-metre match-winner from a tight angle ensured Port held off the Tigers for an 11.13 (79) to 11.11 (77) triumph.

Gray’s feat – the last goal of the game – came with about four minutes remaining in a rugged Friday night encounter at Adelaide Oval.

Richmond have now lost in rounds three and four – just like last season, when they went on to claim the premiership.

And Port gain precious early breathing space on the ladder with a third win from four starts.

Power onballers Travis Boak (29 disposals, seven clearances) and Ollie Wines (27 touches, five clearances) and winger Karl Amon (25 possessions) were standouts.

Teammate Scott Lycett ruled the rucks and collected 20 disposals while forwards Steven Motlop and Connor Rozee kicked two goals each.

Richmond defender Jayden Short was outstanding with a game-high 31 touches featuring 10 rebounds from his side’s defensive 50m zone.

Short’s fellow backmen Bachar Houli (26 touches) and megastar Dustin Martin (23 touches, one goal) were solid and Jack Riewoldt booted three goals.

But Port prevailed despite losing both Zak Butters (leg) and Xavier Duursma (concussion) in the last quarter, and Rozee struggling with a corked thigh from the first quarter.

Port controlled general play in the opening half, though their reward was miminal because of wayward goalkicking – they missed six set-shots in the second quarter alone.

The Power led 6.10 to 6.3 at halftime – the seven-point buffer coming with 14 more inside 50s and 13 more clearances than the Tigers.

In the third term, Richmond found some grunt around the packs and scored two goals to take a seven-point lead.

But Port immediately rallied, booting three goals in a tick over five minutes – the second after Tiger ruckman Toby Nankervis had a horror mis-kick leading to a Rozee goal; the third from a 55 metre set-shot bomb from Hamish Harlett.

The Power held a 10-point lead at three quarter-time but an early goal from Tiger ace Martin reduced the margin to five.

After trading goals, Richmond’s Kane Lambert put the visitors in front with seven minutes remaining, only for the ice-cool Gray to respond with what proved the match winner.

(C) AAP 2021

PORT ADELAIDE 3.3 6.10 9.12 11.13 (79)

RICHMOND 4.2 6.3 8.7 11.11 (77)

Goals: Port Adelaide: C Rozee 2 S Motlop 2 D Houston H Hartlett M Georgiades O Fantasia R Gray X Duursma Z Butters. Richmond: J Riewoldt 3 K Lambert 2 D Martin J Aarts J Castagna J Short S Bolton T Lynch.

Umpires: Brett Rosebury, Brendan Hosking, Curtis Deboy.

Official Crowd: 33,742 at Adelaide Oval.