PORT Adelaide’s brigade of rising young talent has outshone Gold Coast’s new boys to make a winning start to the 2020 AFL season.
The Power led at every change on Saturday night at Metricon Stadium, surging to a 10.16 (76) to 4.5 (29) victory.
Connor Rozee, Todd Marshall and debutant Mitchell Georgiades all shone in the 47-point win, as Ken Hinkley’s team made the perfect start to a year in which the Power coach had warned the league to “look out – we’re coming”.
Marshall kicked two goals while West Australian draftee Georgiades booted two including a first-quarter major after which he was mobbed by teammates.
Rozee, who ran the Suns’ halfback line ragged at times with his silky play, finished the match with 21 disposals and a goal.
There were also flashes of brilliance at times by 19-year-old Zak Butters.
Plenty of Port’s older heads also performed well including Travis Boak (25 disposals, four tackles), Brad Ebert (20 disposals, one goal) and Robbie Gray (18 disposals, six contested possessions).
Despite the win, the Power finished the match down on troops with Hamish Hartlett (quad) limping out of the game in the third quarter.
Sam Powell-Pepper (shoulder) and Brad Ebert (knee) also finished the game with injury concerns.
The loss is the Suns’ 19th-consecutive AFL defeat – a streak stretching back to round four last year.
Gold Coast kicked the first goal of the game through Ben King, but had little answer to the Power’s slick transition attacking play.
Often, only a desperate Sam Collins, who signed a new contract extension during the week, was the last man standing for the Suns in defence.
Gold Coast’s team featured five new faces, including debutants Noah Anderson, Matthew Rowell and Connor Budarick, as well as recruits Hugh Greenwood and Brandon Ellis.
Anderson was tireless while Rowell shone in patches in the pair’s first AFL appearance, while Budarick had a quiet first game with just eight touches.
The Suns travel to Geelong next weekend to play the Cats and Port take on Adelaide in a Showdown at Adelaide Oval.
© AAP 2020
PORT ADELAIDE 4.2 9.6 9.9 10.16 (76)
GOLD COAST 1.1 3.2 4.5 4.5 (29)
Goals: Port Adelaide: M Georgiades 2 S Motlop 2 T Marshall 2 B Ebert C Rozee H Hartlett Z Butters. Gold Coast: B Ainsworth B King D Swallow S Lemmens.
Umpires: Shaun Ryan, Eleni Glouftsis, Andre Gianfagna.
Venue: Metricon Stadium.