WHERE AND WHEN: Under the Dome at 2:10pm AEST
SUMMARY: Port Adelaide was the competition’s sole unbeaten team through three rounds, but suddenly must defeat a resurgent North Melbourne to avoid three defeats on the trot. Dealing with the continued absence of All Australian ruckman Paddy Ryder won’t be any easier on Saturday. Justin Westhoff and Dougal Howard have done their best to hold the fort, but face another big task in Todd Goldstein, who bounced back to form in the Roos’ shock upset of the Hawks. Their ability to quell Goldstein’s influence will go a long way to winning the clearance battle, where North shone in round five. The Roos will sweat on Shaun Higgins’ fitness, in particular, after his sickening head clash with Ryan Burton. If Higgins doesn’t recover in time, it will mean an increased workload for midfield bull Ben Cunnington, Trent Dumont, Jed Anderson and co. Top-five draftee Luke Davies-Uniacke should be back to help after being rested last round.
LAST FIVE TIMES:
R17, 2017, Port Adelaide 19.13 (127) d North Melbourne 8.9 (57) at Adelaide Oval
R17, 2016, Port Adelaide 16.9 (105) d North Melbourne 10.17 (77) at Etihad Stadium
R3, 2015, Port Adelaide 17.11 (113) d North Melbourne 16.9 (105) at Etihad Stadium
R3, 2014, North Melbourne 14.13 (97) d Port Adelaide 13.12 (90) at Etihad Stadium
R6, 2013, North Melbourne 14.9 (93) d Port Adelaide 12.11 (83) at Blundstone Arena
Thommo’s Tip: Port Adelaide by 12 points.
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