Port Adelaide got a much needed, confidence boosting win over the Tigers in their last NAB Challenge match on Thursday night.
After an indifferent pre-season that saw a good performance against Sydney, and a strong first half against Melbourne combined with a terrible second half, the Power came away with a comfortable 48 point win against RIchmond.
Port took control after the first quarter and never looked back from there. In a sometimes spiteful contest, it was evident that the tempo from both teams had come up a notch in the final pre-season game before the real stuff starts in two weeks time.
Although the Tigers finished the match with 15 men on the field, the game was done and dusted well before then with the Power showing some of their best in patches.
The midfield brigade of Wines, Hartlett, Ah Chee and Sam Gray had the ball on a string all night, getting well on top of the Tigers as the match went on.
Chad Wingard slotted back into the line-up perfectly, making a massive difference in the forward line with 14 possessions, 2 goals, and the class that we have come to expect from the dual All-Australian.
There were also exciting scenes at the beginning of the third quarter, when big Charlie DIxon made his debut in the Power guernsey.
The man-mountain made an immediate impact, throwing his weight around and showing some real presence in the forward 50. Charlie finished with 7 possessions and a goal, with all Port fans hanging to see him in action on his full debut against the Saints at Adelaide Oval on Easter Sunday.
Port will still be hoping for some improvement out of Matthew Lobbe, who was okay in the ruck with 31 hitouts but struggled around the ground with only 5 possessions.
This was a real chance for the big man to dominate in the absence of Richmond's number one ruckman Ivan Maric, but he was pretty well matched by Shaun Hampson all night.
Bring on St. Kilda and round one!