ST KILDA captain Jarryn Geary has suffered another serious leg injury, with Port Adelaide mauling his team by 70 points at Jiangwan Stadium in China.
Plagued by ill health before their first Shanghai match, the Saints’ China crisis was capped on Sunday with the 22.7 (139) to 9.15 (69) belting.
Geary returned in this match from surgery that left a gruesome scar on his right upper leg.
He has a suspected fracture and has been taken to hospital for x-rays.
He went down in the last quarter and could not put any weight on his right leg as two trainers helped him from the field.
The fact that one of the AFL’s toughest players was in agony was a bad sign.
While the hospitality marquees at the ground were pumping in the warm and muggy weather, the grandstands were less than half full after a sellout crowd had been spruiked.
Power Midfielder Travis Boak shone with 33 disposals and two goals.
It is Port’s highest score since round six in 2017 and their first 100 point- plus score this season gives them a 6-5 record heading into the bye.
Port’s China campaign is working beautifully on the field, with three convincing wins.
The Saints had been playing with plenty of spirit before their first Shanghai trip, but this was a return to the worst of last year’s struggles.
They are 5-6 and have much to work on during their week off, especially in attack.
They missed too many easy shots on goal and, eventually, the dam wall broke.
The Saints only trailed by 15 points, 11 minutes into the second term, when Ben Long kicked a goal.
Port then went on a nine-goal run.
The Power also had struggled in attack before this game and the move of Dougal Howard into their forward line paid immediate dividends when he kicked the opening goal.
Half-back Riley Bonner, Robbie Gray and St Kilda’s Jade Gresham kicked three goals apiece.
Bonner’s recall freed Dan Houston for a move into the midfield and that also worked.
Gray and Saints defender Josh Battle will come under review for a scuffle on the wing that also had drawn the attention of the emergency umpire.
The last goal of the first half summed up the game – St Kilda could not stop a chain of handballs and Bonner snapped brilliantly on his non-preferred side.
It was the sort of opportunist goal that St Kilda did not look like kicking.
The bout of illness that hit St Kilda over the past couple of days forced two late changes.
Defenders Dan McKenzie and Jonathon Marsh went out and Nick Coffield and Darragh Joyce took their spots.
Ben Paton and Nick Hind arrived after a last-minute overnight flight in case other players didn’t recover in time.
Blake Acres also was ruled out on Friday because of a virus that he already had when the team arrived in Shanghai.
© AAP 2019
PORT ADELAIDE 5.1 12.3 18.3 22.7 (139)
ST KILDA 3.4 5.8 7.10 9.15 (69)
Goals: Port Adelaide: R Bonner 3 R Gray 3 D Howard 2 K Farrell 2 P Ryder 2 T Boak 2 Z Butters 2 C Rozee J Westhoff S Gray S Lycett S Motlop X Duursma. St Kilda: J Gresham 3 B Long J Billings J Newnes M Parker R Marshall T Membrey.
Best: Port Adelaide: T Boak R Gray S Lycett K Amon D Houston S Gray T Jonas R Bonner. St Kilda: R Marshall S Ross L Dunstan J Gresham.
Injuries: Port Adelaide: Nil. St Kilda: J Geary (leg) D McKenzie (illness) replaced in selected side by D Joyce, J Marsh (illness) replaced in selected side by N Coffield.
Umpires: Robert Findlay, Nathan Williamson, Andre Gianfagna.
Venue: Jiangwan Sports Centre.