AFL greats torch club’s insipid display

Two AFL greats have stuck the boots into Port Adelaide over their horror showing in their first final on Saturday night.

AFL: A third term charge has booked Brisbane a home preliminary final with the Lions too strong for Port Adelaide as the kept their perfect record at the Gabba in tact.

Port Adelaide were comprehensively blown off the park at the Gabba against the Brisbane Lions in what was the biggest defeat in the opening week of the finals series.

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After finishing third on the ladder, many believed the Power could do what no other had done in 2023 and record a win at the Gabba.

But the Lions showed why they’re a genuine premiership contender as they ran away with the contest in the second half.

Cornes said the pressure of the final appeared to be showing on the Port players as they butchered several key chances in front of goal.

“I thought it was men against boys sort of stuff last night,” he told Nine’s AFL Sunday Footy Show.

“Thirteen goals from stoppage they kicked, Brisbane, and that had been Port Adelaide’s strength.

“What also hurt Port Adelaide early were these misses.

“This is the thing about finals, some players can cope with it, others can’t. You could see almost the blood draining from their faces when they were missing.

“This probably doesn’t happen in a home-and-away game. They weren’t able to cope with that pressure in front of goal.

“The routine deserted them and to miss by that far in a big game like that is a real concern.”

Cornes took aim at his old club.

North Melbourne great David King echoed the comments of Cornes, blasting the Power for their paltry showing in a big final.

“I think they’ve had a horror week. The build-up to this game was poor and they played accordingly,” King told Fox Footy’s First Crack.

“It’s the falsest finals profile I’ve seen for a top-four team for a long time. And this is not a one-week discussion. It’s not a tonight discussion. It’s about as fake as a $3 note.

“They don’t defend. They can’t defend their D50 [defensive 50] at all. Until you get that right, you are not a premiership contender. I don’t care where you finish on the table.”

It was ugly for the Power. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

The Power will now return to Adelaide where they’ll welcome the GWS Giants for a semi-final showdown on Saturday night.

The Giants will enter the clash full of confidence after producing a barnstorming display against St Kilda on Saturday.

After their horror showing against the Lions, Cornes believes a straight sets exit from the finals series could be on the cards for the Power.

“If (Jason) Horne-Francis, (Connor) Rozee and (Zak) Butters don’t fire, then that’s all they’ve really got at the moment,” he said.

“They’re a bit banged up … They look a bit wounded and the Giants would feel like Port Adelaide is a bit vulnerable next week.”

AFL Finals Week 2 schedule

Semi-Final 1: Melbourne vs Carlton, Friday September 15, 7:50pm (AEST) at the MCG.

Semi-Final 2: Port Adelaide vs GWS Giants, Saturday September 16, 7:40pm (AEST) at Adelaide Oval.

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