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Match Report: Round 17

Lee Gaskin (  July 15, 2017 5:22 PM

North Melbourne has fallen to its sixth straight defeat, losing to Port Adelaide by 70 points at Adelaide Oval on Saturday. 

On the back of an eight-goal first quarter, the Power were never seriously challenged against the injury-depleted Kangaroos – 19.13 (127) to 8.9 (57) – in front of a crowd of 34,138.

For the Kangaroos (17th; 4-12), Ben Cunnington (26 contested possessions) did everything he possibly could to keep his side in the contest and forward Ben Brown booted three goals to stay in touch in the race for the Coleman Medal.

To make matters worse for the visitors, young defender Mitchell Hibberd could be set for a stint on the sidelines after coming off in the first quarter with a shoulder injury.

"We were badly beaten around the ball early," North coach Brad Scott said.

"Against a full-strength Port Power who played really well, it was going to be a challenge.

"You don't have 88 tackles if you're not having a crack, so we kept working really hard to stay in the game, but Port were just too good."

Overall, the Power won the clearances 49-30, had 16 more entries inside 50, an advantage of +36 in contested possessions and had 77 more disposals than the Kangaroos.

Port Adelaide: Power fans held their breathe when star ruckman Patrick Ryder rolled his ankle in the third quarter. Ryder left the ground, but returned later in the term. With the result in the bag, Ryder finished the game on the bench with his ankle strapped, but coach Ken Hinkley is confident Ryder will be right to face Melbourne next week. Charlie Dixon collided heavily with the advertising hoarding, but returned to play.

North Melbourne: The long injury list at the Kangaroos is set to add two more names to it. Defender Mitchell Hibberd injured his shoulder in the first quarter and didn't return to the game. Corey Wagner's day was also over early with an ankle injury. Scott Thompson and Shaun Higgins spent 20 minutes off the ground for concussion tests, but were cleared to play.

The Power face another challenge of their premiership credentials when they take on Melbourne at the MCG next Saturday, 2.10pm AEST. The Kangaroos take on the red-hot Bombers at Etihad Stadium next Saturday, 1.45pm AEST.

PORT ADELAIDE 8.1 11.4 14.9 19.13 (127)          
NORTH MELBOURNE 2.0 5.3 6.5 8.9 (57)

Port Adelaide: S.Gray 4, Wingard 3, R.Gray 2, Powell-Pepper 2, Trengove 2, Wines, Westhoff, Polec, Hartlett, White, Dixon
North Melbourne: Brown 3, Atley 2, Higgins, Garner, Hrovat

Port Adelaide: Wingard, Ryder, S.Gray, Westhoff, Powell-Pepper, Wines
North Melbourne: Cunnington, Brown, Tarrant, Atley

Port Adelaide: Ryder (ankle)
North Melbourne: Hibberd (shoulder)

Reports: Nil
Umpires: Mitchell, Ryan, Gavine
Official crowd: 34,138 at Adelaide Oval