By Troy Thompson reporting for AFANA in Melbourne
The conditions would have been a surprise for both teams at Jiangwan Stadium with the temperature around 68°F after being closer to 90°F the previous day. So it was under overcast skies and on a slippery deck, the Gold Coast Suns got things underway in Shanghai when Matt Rosa slotted a goal from the pocket early in the quarter.
Back to back goals to Port Adelaide through Chad Wingard and Sam Gray saw Port Adelaide hit the front with five minutes on the clock. Tom Rockliff capitalized for their third on a dropped mark at the top of the goal square, roving and kicking the goal.
First gamer Jacob Heron pulled one back for the Gold Coast receiving the ball over top and kicking truly on the run. Port were dominating right across the ground and after missing a few they should have kicked it was the captain Boak who kicked the next 6-pointer.
Jarrod Witts took full advantage of the 50 meter penalty against Paddy Ryder (for swearing) to score a major for the Suns against the run of play. Then Maverick Weller reduced the margin to five points with two minutes to go in the quarter with a great run finishing with the goal.
A great lead by Charlie Dixon from the square saw him take the contested mark and kick the goal after the siren from 45 meters out. The margin at quarter time was 9 points to Port Adelaide.
Perhaps it was the assistance of the breeze that kept the Suns in it during the first quarter, and Port Adelaide would kick with it in the second. But the Suns shut down the Port Powers attack regularly turning the ball over from pressure acts.
It was half way into the last quarter before the first goal was kicked and it came unusually after a free kick for a deliberate rushed behind saw Jack Bowes kick the goal from point-blank range. Ollie Wines kicked Ports only goal for the quarter with a minute left on the clock. In what was effectively a stalemate, Port slightly increased their 9 point lead from quarter time to 12 points.
In the third quarter it was Chad Wingard who finally broke the shackles. Coming out of the square he won the marking contest just 15 meters just outside the goal square and kicked the goal. It was another ten minutes before the next goal to Port but it came through Jack Watts who made the most of a good bounce to kick his first for the match.
Both teams continued to squander chances. It was Touk Miller for the Suns who was finally able to claw 6 points back with a long kick on the run late in the quarter, the margin now out to 20 points at three quarter time.
Port Adelaide started the last quarter perfectly with Powell-Pepper taking a strong mark and kicking a long goal. Sam Gray added another as the Suns defense struggled to hold the Port Adelaide forwards. Perhaps the most notable moment of the final quarter was the ball going flat, a very unusual occurrence, with play unable to proceed, the ball had to be replaced.
Powell Pepper added a second goal for the quarter to make it a comfortable win to Port Adelaide by 40 points in a game they had in their control for most of the day. Had their kicking accuracy been better the scoreline could have been much bigger. The Gold Coast Suns put up a fight but could not regularly penetrate the Powers defense.
The official Crowd was 10,689 with the tickets for the match sold out. It appears that the wet weather kept a number away. Port Adelaide would be very happy that for the second year running building their business relationships in China and taking home the four points.
GOLD COAST 4.2 5.3 6.6 6.6 (42) PORT ADELAIDE 5.5 6.10 8.14 11.16 (82) GOALS Gold Coast: Rosa, Heron, Witts, Weller, Bowes, Miller Port Adelaide: Powell-Pepper 2, Wingard 2, S.Gray 2, Rockliff, Boak, Dixon, Wines, Watts BEST Gold Coast: Witts, Harbrow, May, Hall, Miller Port Adelaide: Boak, Powell-Pepper, Rockliff, Wines, Byrne-Jones INJURIES Gold Coast: Jack Martin (illness) replaced by Matt Rosa before the game, Matt Rosa (hamstring) Port Adelaide: Nil Reports: Nil Umpires: Leigh Fisher, Jacob Mollison, Nick Foot Official crowd: 10,689 at Jiangwan Stadium
Article last changed on Monday, May 21, 2018 - 1:55 PM EDT