Hostplus League

2023 Hostplus SANFL League Elimination Final Preview

Central's Isaiah Dudley handballs under pressure from Port's Nathan Barkla. Picture - David Mariuz

Compiled by Zac Milbank

ELIMINATION FINAL | Central District v Port Adelaide | Sunday September 3 at 12.15pm | Adelaide Oval |

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What They Said

By The Numbers

Head to Head – Overall
Played – 157
Central – 61
Port – 95
Drawn – 1

Head to Head – Finals
Played – 15
Port – 11
Central – 4

At Adelaide Oval
Played – 12
Port – 7
Central – 5

Last Finals Meeting
2015 1st Semi Final – Central 10.14 (74) d Port 11.3 (69) at Adelaide Oval

Last Three Meetings
Round 18 2023 – Central 14.7 (91) d Port 11.10 (76) at X Convenience Oval
Round 9 2023 – Port 13.14 (92) d Central 10.9 (69) at Alberton Oval
Round 16 2022 – Port 11.8 (74) d Central 7.9 (51) at Maughan Thiem Kia Oval

Port’s Jackson Mead leapfrogs Central’s Kyle Presbury in Round 18. Picture – David Mariuz

Key Match-Ups

Harry Grant (Central) v Jackson Mead (Port)
The two highest possession-winners on the ground in Round 18 are poised to lock horns again in the centre square.
Central’s Harry Grant has been one of the most improved players in the competition this season with his superb running capacity allowing him to get to multiple contests. He will need to keep Mead, who collected 30 disposals last Saturday, in check considering the Magpie uses the ball so well with either foot while also showing a penchant for hitting the scoreboard.

Billy Iles (Central) v Jed Hagan (Port)
Central’s Billy Iles has been a revelation in defence this season, regularly setting up play from the back half while streaming further down the field with ball in hand. But the long-sleeved defender will need to keep his eye on Magpies’ livewire Hagan, who booted three goals in their last meeting on Saturday. Recruited from Western Australia, Hagan has been a consistent threat in attack for Port with his impressive evasive skills and ability to snap a goal from challenging angles.

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