St Kilda has come tantalisingly close to pulling off an upset win interstate against Port Adelaide in prime-time, falling short by 10 points against an injury-hit brigade at Adelaide Oval.

Although history didn’t favour St Kilda after dropping 12 of its past 13 games against Port Adelaide, Ross Lyon’s side came out with noticeable effort and their tails up to give its injury-hit opponents several scares throughout the see-sawing contest.

The up-and-down encounter saw the young Saints hit the front four times after an erroneous 1.8 opening term from the home side, however Jae Burgoyne (27 disposals, seven score involvements), Peter Badcoe VC Medal recipient Willem Drew (23 disposals) and Charlie Dixon (four goals) mustered enough puff to see their side through 11.16 (82) to 11.6 (72).

St Kilda had sniffs to improve its ledger to 2-4, and despite dodging a potentially deciding opening quarter from its opposition, the Power's might persevered to make amends for last week's defeat to Collingwood.

Port Adelaide’s steam steadily lessened after losing Aliir Aliir to concussion following a Jack Higgins tackle which will likely come under the microscope, before a suspected knee injury to Sam Powell-Pepper and then hamstring strain to Connor Rozee in the second half put the Power on the precipice.

As injuries mounted for Port Adelaide, it appeared - much like how it unfolded on the scoreboard - that St Kilda would be the ones to make its opportunities count with the Power down a few soldiers. But it turned out to be the opposite.

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The Saints’ run and dare, which had been down over the past fortnight, returned in more solid glimpses under the prime-time lights, with Bradley Hill an early beneficiary with a delightful goal on the run to abate the relentless home crowd.

A passionate Mattaes Phillipou goal against the run of successive Port Adelaide minor scores - compounded by several dropped marks, players bumping into each other and other uncharacteristic errors - had the Saints’ cylinders firing, despite Ken Hinkley’s men offered ample opportunities to capitalise early.

Round 7 v Port Adelaide

But Powell-Pepper got the radar realigned after the wayward first term to initiate a five-goal second term for Port Adelaide as the errors in defence leaked into St Kilda’s game.

It was the impetus Port Adelaide needed to get a hand back on the wheel after the visitors threatened to wrench control. The combined force and cleanliness of Rozee (18 disposals, five inside-50s) and Zak Butters (27 disposals) in the opening half was evident both in finding space on the outside and injecting aggression when slicing through the corridor, however the Saints willed themselves to cling on. 

Anthony Caminiti’s major to steady the ship again drew the ire of the Adelaide Oval faithful, with the boos soon falling to a hush as a fiery Mitch Owens cannoned through his second major for the evening.

But the full voice was restored off the back of Willie Rioli’s dazzling double dance-step which put his side back in front, and again replicated the damage after half-time after three successive majors to Tim Membrey, Cooper Sharman and Higgins to open the third term.

Dixon’s fourth major extended the margin to just shy of four goals early in the final term, and despite two late challenges which brought the margin back to within 10 points and a flurry of moving magnets to boot, the Power emerged victorious, albeit at a potentially heavy cost.

PORT ADELAIDE  1.8  6.9  9.13  11.16 (82)
3.3  5.5  8.6  11.6 (72)

Port Adelaide:
Dixon 4, Rioli 2, Rozee, Powell-Pepper, Georgiades, Byrne-Jones, Wines
St Kilda:
Owens 2, Higgins 2, Hill, Phillipou, Caminiti, Membrey, Sharman, Sinclair, Cordy

Port Adelaide:
Drew, Burgoyne, Butters, Dixon, Rozee, Wines, Farrell
St Kilda:
Sinclair, Wilson, Wanganeen-Milera, Hill, Wilkie

Port Adelaide:
Aliir (concussion), Powell-Pepper (knee), Rozee (hamstring)
St Kilda:

Port Adelaide:
Jackson Mead replaced Aliir Aliir in the third quarter
St Kilda:
Angus Hastie replaced Cooper Sharman in the fourth quarter


40,306 at Adelaide Oval