AFL

Port Adelaide V West Coast EF 1

Port V West Coast – AFL FINALS 2017

It was only fitting one of the closest seasons would come down to the final game. Against all odds, the Eagles have found themselves in the finals and will face a red-hot Port Adelaide outfit.

The Power will be determined to silence their many critics who labelled them ‘flat-track bullies’ throughout the season. Likewise, the Eagles will seek to prove they have not come this far to merely make up the numbers.

History favours the Eagles in this fixture having never lost at the Adelaide Oval. West Coast have defeated the Power in their last three meetings in Adelaide. The last and only time these sides met in a final was in the 2007 Qualifying Final which saw the Power victorious in a three-point thriller. Ten years on the circumstances may be different but the intensity will still be there.

It is unlikely Nic Naitanui will make a return, placing the task of competing against All Australian ruckman Paddy Rider on Nathan Vardy and Drew Petrie.

Despite having an ageing list, the Eagles have a plethora of finals experience at their disposal. Four-time Premiership player Sam Mitchell will have a significant impact on the Eagles morale as well as maintaining composure on the field.

The forward line battle is one which looms as being quite intriguing. Charlie Dixon and Robbie Gray combined for an impressive 92 goals between them in the season. Robbie Gray’s abilities were amplified this season while Dixon continued to perform as a key forward.

The Eagles meanwhile were quite reliant on Josh Kennedy during the season. The 30-year-old narrowly missed out on a third straight Coleman medal, however West Coast fans would have been pleased with the performance of Jack Darling and Lewis Jetta last week. Both Darling and Jetta converted crucial goals last week and will be relied upon to step up once again.

Prediction: Power by 24 points

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