BENDIGO Pioneers coach and former GWS Giants assistant Damian Truslove breaks down this weekend's two AFL preliminary finals.
PORT ADELAIDE v RICHMOND
Adelaide Oval - 7.50pm Friday
Round 4 - Port Adelaide 13.15 (93) def Richmond 11.6 (72).
Port Adelaide gameplan:
* Port's strength is the contested ball and the hunt for the footy. If they win stoppages and get their ball inside forward 50 more than Richmond then they're a chance to win the game.
* Port will be physical around the contest and try to get the ball inside 50 as quick as they can to test the Richmond defenders.
* They need their small forwards and Charlie Dixon to have a night out.
X-factor: Charlie Dixon - he needs to kick three goals or more to give his side the best chance to win.
* Richmond can get an advantage with its speed. Bolton, Edwards, Short, Rioli and Cotchin give the Tigers an edge in speed. The advantage of that is winning ground balls, the outnumber game at contest, spreading and scoring quickly from turnover. The Tigers aren't worried as much at soppages, but as soon as the ball hits the ground they use their leg speed to spread and score.
* On pure talent the Tigers probably have the edge. They have so many matchwinners on their day and that will test Port.
X-factor: Dustin Martin - he's a star. The stage is set for him.
Three key match-ups:
Charlie Dixon (Port) v Noah Balta (Rich)
Travis Boak (Port) v Trent Cotchin (Rich)
Robbie Gray (Port) v Dylan Grimes (Rich)
Verdict: Richmond by 23 points.
BRISBANE v GEELONG
Gabba - 7.40pm Saturday
Round 6 - Geelong 11.7 (73) def Brisbane 6.10 (46).
* The Lions will really want to win stoppages and win the territory battle which is the key to their game.
* The Lions will go really fast and through the corridor to get the ball inside 50 as quick as they can, so that the Geelong defence can't drop off and intercept mark.
* Create a turnover through tackling pressure and get the ball moving quickly.
X-factor: Dayne Zorko - I think he's due for a big game as midfielder who can go forward.
* The Cats will try to control the game with uncontested possession and try to keep the ball off Brisbane. They want to set up a really strong defensive structure behind the ball.
* Patrick Dangerfield should start forward and, with Hawkins in good form, the Cats will control the ball and work it inside 50 to those two.
* Geelong will probably lose the hit-outs, but they'll put a lot of work into sharking the Brisbane ruckmen to give them ascendancy around stoppages.
X-factor: Patrick Dangerfield - he's the obvious one on the back of what he did last week against Collingwood.
Three key match-ups:
Harris Andrews (Bris) v Tom Hawkins (Geel)
Lachie Neale (Bris) v Cam Guthrie (Geel)
Hugh McCluggage (Bris) v Sam Menegola (Geel)
Verdict: Geelong by 17 points.
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