Where and when: Gabba, Saturday, April 6, 6.25pm AEST
Last time they met: Adelaide Oval, round three, 2018: Port Adelaide 14.13 (97) defeated Brisbane 14.8 (92)
Port almost blew an 18-point three-quarter time lead but held on against a gallant Brisbane. Allen Christensen’s snap at goal with just over a minute remaining was marked on the goal line by Jared Polec to save the day. Stefan Martin was easily the best player afield.
What it means for Brisbane: A chance to start three-from-three for the first time since 2010. After beating the premier in round one, another win would really start dragging the casual sporting fans in Brisbane back to the Gabba.
What it means for Port Adelaide: Written off by many as a genuine finals contenders prior to the season, a win over red-hot Brisbane would frank Ken Hinkley’s men as a team to watch.
How Brisbane wins: By staying composed. The midfield has shown it can win enough footy, and if they use it well – which has been problematic at times in the first fortnight – the forward line is potent enough to kick a winning score.
How Port Adelaide wins: Aside from nullifying the Lions at the centre bounce, Port must pressure Brisbane manically when defending. The Lions love to play with pace but are prone to turning the ball over. Port should also not be afraid to possess the ball and slow the game down.
The stat: Port Adelaide have owned the ball in their first two victories, averaging an AFL-best 433 disposals a match. Both times Port has had 93 more possessions than its opponent. They also lead the League for marks inside 50 (14).
The match-up: Stefan Martin v Scott Lycett
It’s quickly becoming apparent the influence a good ruckman on the result with the new 6-6-6 rules at centre bounces. Martin was a huge influence last week, while Scott Lycett (up 55 places to 231st overall) is already looming as one of the most astute off-season acquisitions after a terrific opening two weeks.
It’s a big week for: Tom Rockliff
Yes, the former Brisbane skipper played the Lions last year, but this will be his first trip to the Gabba since leaving via free agency at the end of 2017. Rockliff played 154 matches for the Lions, won two best and fairests and was named an All Australian in 2014. If he becomes influential, watch for Mitch Robinson to start following him around.
Big call: Eric Hipwood to break free from his slow start with five goals.
Thommo’s Tip: Lions by 12 points
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