Brilliant Buddy pops Power’s bubble

Written By Unknown on Sabtu, 14 Juni 2014 | 16.42

Sydney key forward Lance Franklin, left, celebrates a goal with Adam Goodes. Picture: Matt King. Source: Matt King / Getty Images

LANCE Franklin almost single-handedly ended Port Adelaide's eight game winning streak at the SCG on Saturday, kicking three sensational final quarter goals to help the Swans escape with a four point win.

The Power had taken everything Sydney could give for three-and-a-half quarters and looked like adding another famous come from behind victory to their growing list.

But Franklin refused to let his team lose, banging through some miraculous long range goals to help the Swans close within one game of Port at the top of the ladder.

"I think that's why you pay him a million dollars," Port coach Ken Hinkley said.

Some had billed the clash as Port's "Judgement Day".

Despite the Power's victories at Adelaide Oval against Geelong, Hawthorn and Fremantle, there was a perception Hinkley's side needed to perform against the Swans in Sydney to prove its premiership mettle.

For anyone who watched the game — which was described by Brisbane Lions midfielder Daniel Rich as "a little taste of finals footy in June" — there's no doubt Port has what it takes to be a major player in this year's finals series.

The signs were there in the opening term when the Power refused to fold in the face of a Swans onslaught.

Sydney has killed teams off with blistering starts on several occasions this season and looked to do the same to the Power.

Midfielder Brad Ebert was among Port Adelaide's best. Picture: Toby Zerna.

Kieran Jack kicked the opener in his 150th and Jarrad McVeigh clean bowled Jackson Trengove on the goal line after smothering Alipate Carlile's kick.

But after conceding the first couple Port — led by exceptional midfield duo Brad Ebert and Robbie Gray — dug in and quickly stopped the bleeding.

The Swans inaccuracy certainly helped. Franklin kicked 0.3 of his side's 2.8 in the first quarter as Sydney missed the opportunity to jump out to a big lead.

The door was open for Port to climb quickly back into the game and they did so in the second as Matt White put his stamp on the contest.

The Power started finding space where they couldn't in the first term and took a surprise lead midway through the term.

Suddenly realising they were at risk of wasting their early dominance the Swans responded. Adam Goodes burnt Jack Hombsch for three second term goals and Sydney led by seven points at the main break.

Port's chances took a dive in the third term because of two crucial individual errors.

First Kane Mitchell tried to bump Josh Kennedy when he should have tackled, allowing the Swans midfielder to curl in a dribbled goal.

Then, after the Power had battled back into the game, Jasper Pittard missed a one metre handball in the centre of the ground, coughing up a possession which would end in a goal to Franklin.

It allowed the Swans to regain control of the game despite Matthew Lobbe's dominance in ruck.

The final term was Port versus Franklin.

Despite seeing Hamish Hartlett subbed off with an ankle injury, the Power midfield took control and willed their team back into the game.

Ebert and Gray were everywhere and the Swans struggled to respond because Kane Cornes had Daniel Hannebery under lock and key.

But just when you thought the Power was on top, Franklin would bob up with another goal and Sydney did just enough to escape with the points.

Port will look to quickly bounce back against the Western Bulldogs at Adelaide Oval this Saturday before a round 14 Showdown against Adelaide.

But it will wake on Sunday knowing it has the game to beat anyone this season.

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