Josh Kelly of the Giants is tackled by Matt White of the Power during the round seven match in Canberra on Saturday. Photo: Getty Images
PORT ADELAIDE 5.3 10.6 15.9 20.12 (132) GWS 3.4 5.4 9.6 15.7 (97)
GOALS Port Adelaide: Schulz 6, Monfries 3 Wingard 3, Polec 3, White 3, Impey, Gray. GWS: Smith 3, Patton 2, Palmer 2, Hoskin-Elliott 2, Shiel, Cameron, Giles, Kelly, Lamb, Scully.
BEST Port Adelaide: Polec, Schulz, Monfries, Gray, White. GWS: Ward, Haynes, Smith, Hoskin- Elliott, Shiel.
INJURIES Port Adelaide: Hartlett (flu) replaced in selected side by Stewart Carlile (flu) replaced in selected side by Newton. GWS: Cameron (ear).
UMPIRES Ryan, Nicholls, Fisher.
CROWD 6549 at Manuka Oval.
All-Australian full-forward Jeremy Cameron is grounded, but his Port Adelaide counterpart Jay Schulz was flying to get his team home with six goals to go top of the Coleman Medal race.
While Greater Western Sydney coach Leon Cameron was happy the Giants won the last quarter against a Power side renowned for its fitness, they still lost by 35 points, 20.12 (132) to 15.7 (97), at Manuka Oval on Saturday.
Giants player Nick Haynes looks upfield during his side's loss to Port Adelaide on Saturday at Manuka Oval. Photo: Jeffrey Chan
|View Match Statistics|
|Players||Smith (3.0), Palmer (2.3), Hoskin-Elliott (2.0), Patton (2.0), Giles (1.1), Scully (1.1), Cameron (1.0), Kelly (1.0), Lamb (1.0), Shiel (1.0), Tomlinson (0.1)||Scorers||Schulz (6.0), Monfries (3.1), Polec (3.0), White (3.0), Wingard (3.0), Gray (1.2), Impey (1.1), Boak (0.1), Cornes (0.1), Ebert (0.1), Newton (0.1), Westhoff (0.1), Wines (0.1)|
Cameron was held to just one goal in the first half and the Giants coach switched him to full-back.
He had an artificial ear drum implanted during the week and he's not allowed to fly to Perth for next week's game against West Coast.
Schulz was one of three Power players who caught a virus, with Alipate Carlisle and Hamish Hartlett both withdrawn from the named line-up.
But Schulz battled on and proved the difference in the end, kicking four last-quarter goals as the Giants pushed the former ladder-leading Port to the end.
It was the fight shown in the last quarter that most pleased Leon Cameron, although he was concerned with the four or five-minute lapses his team is having every term.
Most of those lapses came at the end of quarters, with Port kicking nine of their goals in time on.
"Obviously they're one of the fittest sides in the competition. For us to win the last quarter, I was proud of our boys to hang in there," Cameron said.
"Even in the third quarter we got within 20 points and in the last three of four minutes they banged on two or three goals. That was disappointing."
Port coach Ken Hinkley put GWS's lapses down to inexperience.
Despite the win, the Power slipped to second on the ladder after Hawthorn's big win over St Kilda.
But Hinkley wasn't concerned with ladder position, only the four points.
He felt onballer Jared Polec (three goals) was best on ground and he had a pretty good case.
Polec had 30 possessions and roved the packs and stoppages brilliantly inside Port's forward 50.
The former Brisbane Lion snapped truly twice in the first quarter, helping the visitors out to an 11-point lead at the first break.
"He had a really strong game. I think he's probably the best player on the ground when you look at the game as a whole," Hinkley said.
"He had a really strong start to the season. He's really fitted in well at Port and obviously getting some reward for his effort."
Just 6549 hardy fans braved Canberra's cold and wet conditions, the lowest attendance for an AFL game at Manuka, to see the Giants' fourth straight loss.
Giants skipper Callan Ward led the way for the home team with 40 touches and eight tackles, despite getting a knock to his funny bone in the second quarter.
It forced him from the ground for about five minutes, but he returned before half-time to be his team's driving force through the middle.
Coach Cameron was expecting his inspirational leader to be fine for the trip to Perth.
The Giants started well but the Power clawed their way back into the game and countered everything the Giants threw at them in the end.
Giants ruckman Jon Giles (44 hit outs) was a massive contributor, but he'll be looking forward to Shane Mumford's (knee) expected return next week.
Angus Monfries, Matt White and Chad Wingard all kicked three goals for the Power, although Wingard was well held by Giants defender Matt Buntine in the first half.
Port hosts the Fremantle Dockers at Adelaide Oval on Saturday.