Port Adelaide fall just short in SANFL trial match

Port Adelaide has lost by one point to North Adelaide in its first SANFL trial match.

Jordon Sweet in action against the Roosters. Image: Brandon Hancock.

PORT ADELAIDE has lost a nail-biter to North Adelaide in the first pre-season trial, going down by a single point.

The Magpies led the entire contest until the Roosters hit the front with a behind in the last minute.

Magpies senior coach Hamish Hartlett praised the first half of the game but said the experience of North Adelaide overworked Port Adelaide in the second half.

“We definitely owned the game in the first half,” he said.

“Jordon Sweet and the guys in the midfield were doing an outstanding job around the contest and giving us opportunities forward and the forwards were finishing their work, so that was really, really pleasing.

“I think we got outworked a little bit [in the second half]. North Adelaide have some really experienced senior guys out there that certainly overran us and adapted to the game as it wore on a little bit better than we did.”

Hartlett was pleased with the efforts of Mitch Georgiades who kicked one goal as he continues on his return from an ACL injury.

“Pleasingly, we saw him run and jump at a lot of contests,” Hartlett said.

Mitch Georgiades competes in the air. Image: Brandon Hancock.

“That’s what we’ve really been looking forward to seeing Mitch do in his recovery from his knee reconstruction.

“He attacked the contest really well, took a nice big hanger on the wing which was good to see, and generally, his work rate is always very, very good, and that certainly was the case today.”

While the teams traded goals early, the Magpies quickly gained ascendancy to kick four goals straight, heading into the quarter time break with a 27-point lead.

Tom Scully was the star of the term with three goals as Nick Moore, in his first game as captain, dominated through the midfield.

The Port Adelaide domination continued in the second quarter with the Magpies taking a 41-point lead into the main break.

Multiple players kicked goals, including Tom Anastasopoulos, who kicked his first SANFL goal for the club at the end of some exhilarating play.

2023 draftee Tom Anastasopoulos impressed in his first official hit out. Image: Brandon Hancock.

A spectacular mark from Georgiades on the wing was the highlight of the third term as the Roosters bounced back to kick six straight goals, closing the margin to 14-points at three quarter-time.

North Adelaide’s dominance continued in the fourth quarter, finally snatching the lead in the final minute.

Despite the last-minute loss, Hartlett was pleased with the intent of the team and the opportunity to condition the group before round 1.

“I think as a group it was really important for us to just play a full game of football for the conditioning side of things more than anything,” he said.

“We had periods throughout the game where we tried certain tactics and situational set plays that we have spoken about at training, but we probably didn’t execute them as well as we liked.

“We’ll review those things I think more than anything and keep learning, and we look forward to another opportunity against South Adelaide next Friday.”

Port Adelaide will play South Adelaide in the second SANFL trial match next Friday at 5:45pm at Alberton Oval.

Best: Nick Moore, Jordon Sweet, Cody Szust, Trent McKenzie, Mitch Georgiades

Q1: PAFC 6.4 40 NA 2.1 13
Q2: PAFC 10.8 68 NA 4.3 27
Q3: PAFC 11.8 74 NA 9.6 60
Q4: PAFC 13.8 86 NA 13.9 87

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