Port Adelaide enter the Showdown this Saturday sitting outside the top eight and in desperate need of a win to keep their inconsistent season trending in the right direction.
After a poor performance against West Coast the skipper Travis Boak responded with the kind of comments we have heard all too often after a poor performance in recent seasons.
“It certainly does sting but we’re honest and there’s no doubt that that performance was nowhere near what we expect.We’ll review that and look at that area and where we let ourselves down, whether it was stoppages or other parts of the game”
While there are only four points on offer for the winner this is more than just a regular game.
The Port faithful are hoping the players and coaching staff are sick and tired of being the second best team in South Australia and this is the week to make a stand.
Recent Showdown history
Many pundits talk up the Showdown as a 50-50 game. Both sets of coaches and players will wheel this comment out during the buildup and talk up what a hotly contested battle the Showdown is.
Recent history would suggest this is not the case. Adelaide has won the last five showdowns comfortably and the last result was an 84 point demolition.
While the rivalry between the fans is generally good natured there is no doubt many supporters from both clubs have a strong dislike for ‘the other team’
Many Power fans took great joy in the Crows losing the 2017 Grand Final to Richmond and it does add another dimension to the banter.
At least it makes a change from the usual barbs that are traded. The 2007 Grand Final, tarps and the Crows not being a real club usually comes up in the conversation.
Regardless of last year’s Grand Final result it is a stark reminder the Crows are the best team in South Australia right now.
Not only as they have beaten Port Adelaide five consecutive times, they have also finished higher on the ladder for three consecutive seasons.
The last time Port enjoyed a win over their cross-town rivals was the 3rd of May 2015. 12 players who played in the win that day are either injured or no longer at the club.
Tony Abbott was Prime Minister, Hillary Clinton had just announced she was running for President and I still had hopes my receding hairline would come good. It has simply been too long since the Power has saluted in a Showdown.
The Scott Thompson intel
It would not be unreasonable to say Don Pyke has had the measure of Ken Hinkley since his arrival at Adelaide and the results confirm it.
Ken Hinkley must look for any advantage he can and this might be the week to lean more heavily on Scott Thompson.
Thompson joined the Power as a development coach at the end of 2017 on a two year-deal and if someone can provide some insight into the Crows then surely it is the former Crows champ who spent 13 years at West Lakes.
The 300 gamer spent time under Don Pyke and in his last year at Adelaide had a role in mentoring the younger players at the club.
Much of what the former Crows club-champion offers may be insignificant but Hinkley needs to find any advantage this week against Adelaide and his new development coach may just have some little tidbits that can help bring down his former club.
We exist to win Premierships
Port Adelaide has a wonderful history that cannot be denied. The older generation of supporters are used to SANFL Premierships on a regular basis and maybe adjusting to AFL level has been a difficult transition over the journey.
The reality is one Premiership in 20 years, no finals win since 2014 and missing finals seven of the last ten years. It is not the kind of results you associate with the old Port Adelaide.
Despite on-field results the traditions and values the club are built on must still be honoured and respected. Maybe the whole club need a refresher on what it means to represent this great club.
The Adelaide Crows will enter this game as favourites. The old Port Adelaide didn’t worry about the odds, they went out and won games of football.
This is a Power home game and the Portress will be in full voice Saturday afternoon. Ken Hinkley and his men owe the true believers a committed performance because Port Adelaide has been second best for too long.