A six-goal haul to Port Adelaide forward Jay Schulz has helped hold off an inconsistent Greater Western Sydney by 35 points in their AFL clash in Canberra.
The surprisingly high-scoring 20.12 (132) to 15.7 (97) victory in front of 6549 fans at a wet Manuka Oval was Port’s fourth straight win of the season and the Giants’ fourth consecutive loss.
The Giants impressed late to win the fourth term narrowly, but lapses in the second quarter and late in third came back to haunt them.
The Power’s Angus Monfries (three goals) was back to his dangerous best in his first match since injuring his hamstring in round three, while Schulz was deadly accurate at crucial moments with six goals.
Matthew White, Chad Wingard and Jared Polec (30 possessions) also starred and were rewarded with three goals apiece.
Meanwhile, Devon Smith (three goals) took the lion’s share of scoring for the home side, Nick Haynes (21 possessions) was excellent for the Giants out of defence and Callan Ward (40) was also very strong.
GWS flew out of the blocks in the cold and wet conditions, leading for most of the first quarter courtesy of early goals to Jeremy Cameron, Rhys Palmer and Will Hoskin-Elliot.
Yet their early bravado was short-lived.
Port kicked into gear with seven straight goals to help earn a 32 point halftime lead.
It took Monfries just 11 minutes to make an impact in his return, kicking back-to-back goals to negate the Giants’ early lead – Polec then bagging two of his own.
The Giants found a second wind midway through the third quarter, Jonathon Patton kicking two goals to cut the deficit to 20 points at one stage.
However, Port again put on the afterburners with three late third-quarter goals through Wingard and White to lead by 39 going into the final term.
Devon Smith kicked two of the Giants’ three goals in the fourth, but it would prove too little, too late, Schulz picking up four goals late in the match.
The win won’t be enough to keep Port at the top of the ladder, after Hawthorn’s demolition of St Kilda by 145 points earlier on Saturday to leapfrog the Power on better percentage.