Port Adelaide Power surge past West Coast Eagles as Harley Reid excites on debut


Charlie Dixon celebrates a goal during Port Adelaide’s clash against West Coast in round one, 2024. Picture: Getty Images

PORT Adelaide’s Connor Rozee and Zak Butters have started their leadership reign with aplomb in a 50-point hammering of West Coast as No.1 pick Harley Reid made his Eagles debut.

New skipper Rozee and fresh vice-captain Butters were among the standouts in Port’s 16.24 (120) to 10.10 (70) win at Adelaide Oval on Sunday.

POWER v EAGLES Full match coverage and stats

Rozee gathered 27 disposals and kicked two goals while Butters, who also collected 27 touches and a goal, was typically creative.

The duo’s midfield mates Jason Horne-Francis (20 disposals, two goals), Willem Drew (16 touches, two goals) and Ollie Wines (23 disposals) helped overwhelm the Eagles in the season-opener for both clubs.

Port spearhead Charlie Dixon kicked 3.3 and recruits Ivan Soldo (two goals, 28 hitouts), Esava Ratugolea and Brandon Zerk-Thatcher were all solid.

West Coast was well served by Jack Petruccelle (three goals) while Elliot Yeo (20 disposals), Jayden Hunt (20) and ruckman Bailey Williams (13 hitouts, seven clearances) battled hard.

The Eagles’ hyped No.1 draftee Reid made a bright start on debut with eight disposals and a hand in a goal-scoring chain in the first quarter.

The 18-year-old finished with 16 disposals, five clearances and four inside 50s.

Port led 3.6 to 3.1 at quarter-time with Dixon threatening, having kicked 2.2 and handing off another potential scoring shot.

Dixon’s influence continued in the second quarter when he again outmarked Tom Barrass and kicked his third goal – the first in a four-goal burst from Port which broke the game open.

The Power surge, which included ex-Richmond ruck Soldo’s first goal for his new club, created a five-goal buffer and the home side led by 31 points at half-time, 9.10 to 5.3.

Port’s advantage blew out to 43 early in the third quarter after goals from Rozee and Drew but just when the Eagles appeared down for the count, they briefly rallied.

West Coast stalwart Jack Darling goaled, co-captain Liam Duggan followed with a classy finish and fellow skipper Oscar Allen then hit the post with a set-shot which would have reduced the deficit to 24.

Instead, the visitors trailed by 32 points after a third term punctuated by an injury to Port’s Jed McEntee, who was concussed when his head hit the ground after a marking collision with the Eagles’ Williams.

Port, before a home crowd of 34,078 spectators, then outscored the visitors five goals to three in the final quarter.

All eyes on Harley
There has been plenty of attention on Harley Reid since last year and the Eagles’ No.1 pick showed glimpses of why on debut. Reid was particularly busy early on, involved in West Coast’s first goal, and had a good debut outing. He finished with 16 disposals (including nine contested possessions) and five clearances.

Butters, McGovern in two big bumps in brutal clash
Known for his aggression, Power star Zak Butters landed a big bump into the ribs of Eagles defender Jeremy McGovern in the first quarter. Butters also landed a bump on McGovern in the third term. There was also a huge collision in the term, when Eagles ruckman Bailey Williams collided with a brave Jed McEntee, who was substituted moments later due to concussion.

Big Charlie sets up win for wayward Port
Charlie Dixon was at his best early on to set up the Power’s win. The forward was involved in almost everything in the opening term, during which he had eight disposals, took two marks and kicked 2.2. The Power’s goalkicking let them down throughout, with Todd Marshall and Jeremy Finlayson kicking 0.7 between them and Dixon missing an easy one when playing on close to goal in the final term.

PORT ADELAIDE          3.6     9.10     11.15     16.24 (120)
WEST COAST               3.1       5.3        7.7      10.10 (70)

GOALS
Port Adelaide: Dixon 3, Soldo 2, Rozee 2, Horne-Francis 2, Farrell 2, Drew 2, Rioli, Byrne-Jones, Butters
West Coast:
Petruccelle 3, Waterman 2, Williams, Duggan, Darling, Cripps, Chesser

BEST
Port Adelaide: Rozee, Butters, Dixon, Soldo, Horne-Francis, Bergman, Houston
West Coast:
Yeo, Williams, McGovern, Reid, Cripps

INJURIES
Port Adelaide: McEntee (concussion)
West Coast:
Nil

SUBSTITUTES
Port Adelaide: Francis Evans (replaced Jed McEntee at three-quarter time)
West Coast:
Campbell Chesser (replaced Andrew Gaff in the third quarter)

Crowd: 33,230 at Adelaide Oval 



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