Adelaide sink Port amid more injury concern for Rozee

Steve Larkin |

Taylor Walker and the Adelaide fans were celebrating as the Crows led throughout against Port.
Taylor Walker and the Adelaide fans were celebrating as the Crows led throughout against Port.

Port Adelaide coach Ken Hinkley concedes his punt on Connor Rozee backfired spectacularly after the captain was hurt again in a 30-point loss to arch rivals Adelaide.

Crow Izak Rankine kicked three goals and set up two others in his side’s 12.6 (78) to 5.18 (48) triumph on Thursday night at Adelaide Oval.

Rozee will be sent for more hamstring scans after failing to finish a game for the second week in a row.

“I made a mistake playing Connor Rozee tonight. That was clear, it was obvious,” Hinkley said.

“I can try and hide behind it but I am not a coward when it comes to owning a mistake, and that was what it was.

“I let Connor down by letting him play.”

Rozee was subbed out at three quarter-time, Mitch Georgiades copped a knock to a knee, and Lachie Jones appeared hobbled by a leg injury in a loss which leaves Port with a 5-3 win-loss record

The Crows move to 3-5 and hold overall boasting rights over Port: in 55 games between the SA rivals, Adelaide now have a 28-27 edge.

Sloane
It proved a fitting farewell to Adelaide great Rory Sloane who announced his retirement this week. (Matt Turner/AAP PHOTOS)

Adelaide led the entire game as midfielder Jake Soligo continued his rich form, winning the Showdown medal for best-afield for his 27 disposals and 10 tackles.

Fellow on-ballers Matt Crouch (28 touches), Jordan Dawson (24) and Rory Laird (26) were busy and Darcy Fogarty (two goals) was a standout in attack.

Veteran Taylor Walker also booted two goals while Mark Keane and Josh Worrell were superb in defence.

“That was a really good performance,” Crows coach Matthew Nicks said.

“It may have looked scrappy on the telly, it couldn’t have been more perfect from our point of view so a really pleasing all-round performance.”

Port vice-captain Zak Butters gathered a game-high 33 disposals and Miles Bergman (20 touches) and Brownlow medallist Ollie Wines (22) battled gamely.

Jason Horne-Francis (two goals) was damaging in spurts and Dan Houston (20 possessions) was accomplished at halfback.

Adelaide’s Fogarty booted two early goals in a 90-second burst to set the tone for the Crows.

Rozee in action
Connor Rozee, on the ball for Port, was subbed out of the action at three-quarter time. (Matt Turner/AAP PHOTOS)

And when his veteran teammate Walker took possession at half-forward, had a bounce, and slotted from 50 metres, the Crows were 18-1 up.

Port’s Charlie Dixon settled his side before two more Adelaide goals created a 23-point buffer.

The Power rallied with two late strikes – a Todd Marshall long-range effort reduced their deficit to eight points at quarter time.

Adelaide gradually edged further ahead in a low-scoring second term with Rankine and Lachlan Sholl scoring while keeping Port goal-less.

The Crows led by 19 points at halftime, 7.2 to 3.7, and again made another move in the third term.

After Walker booted his second goal, Rankine produced a trademark goal – from one step and a tight angle – to put Adelaide 31 points ahead.

The Power clawed one back through Horne-Francis but the Crows were still in command by 23 points at three quarter-time, 9.4 to 4.11.

Horne-Francis slotted his second to bring Port within 18 points but Adelaide then iced the victory with three consecutive goals.

AAP