By STEVE BARRETT
Woodville-West Torrens surged to second place on the SANFL ladder after a commanding second half saw them steamroll Port Adelaide by 68 points at Maughan Thiem Kia Oval.
After scores were even late in the second quarter, the Eagles turned on the afterburners, nailing 12 of the last 13 goals as the shellshocked Magpies saw their four-match winning streak come to an end and their percentage take a hit.
Jack Hayes was magnificent for the reigning premiers, predominantly in attack but also pinch-hitting in ruck and helping out in defence when needed at times before half-time, finishing with three goals to go with 28 possessions, 10 marks (four contested) and eight hit-outs.
Eagles team-mate James Tsitas got completely off the chain for the second time against Port this season, bettering his 39-disposal haul in Round 5 to finish with 41 along with nine tackles and eight clearances.
Joe Sinor (29 touches), Kai Pudney (24), Sam Rowland (24) and Dane McFarlane (24) were all prolific, while Jake von Bertouch (three majors), Jesse Lonergan, Riley Knight and Tyson Stengle (two each) showcased the Eagles’ multi-pronged capacity in attack.
Long-kicking Jarrod Lienert (26 possessions, 14 rebound-50s) was the Magpies’ best, holding their under-siege defence together before the walls finally crumbled after half-time.
Midfielders Matt Appleton and Taj Schofield (23 disposals each) and ruckman Sam Hayes (15 touches, 32 hitouts) worked hard at the contest, especially in the opening half which was high quality.
Tall teenager Ollie Lord goaled twice in the first term to tie things up before Zane Williams broke the deadlock and put the Eagles in front by six points at quarter-time when he rolled through a superb shot from a tight angle.
Joel Garner copped a corky courtesy of a friendly-fire collision with fellow Port defender Lienert and Eagles half-back Clay Cameron hopped off with a left ankle injury as neither side budged in a tough second period.
Dylan Williams converted thanks to an Eagles defensive turnover and ex-Collingwood swingman Tyson Goldsack was thrown forward and goaled after snaring a fine pack grab, before Jack Hayes outmarked Ben Edwards and connected truly to steady the home side, still up by six points at half-time.
From that point on, it was an Eagles procession.
Von Bertouch slotted back-to-back majors to start the third, Tyson Stengle – who had Hamish Hartlett’s measure for much of the afternoon – got on the board as the Eagles stamped their authority and stretched their advantage to 36 points at three-quarter-time.
The Pies were held goalless in the fourth stanza, which the Eagles finished with a flourish.
Livewire McFarlane produced a two-bounce, party trick off the outside of his boot, Jack Hayes and Stengle again hit the scoreboard and Pudney provided some icing in the dying seconds for the Eagles, who enter next weekend’s bye with a ton of momentum.
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