PORT ADELAIDE 1.5 2.8 4.12 7.14 (56) GOLD COAST 3.2 4.3 5.4 7.5 (47)
GOALS - Port Adelaide: 
Moore, Wingard. Hartlett, Schulz, Westhoff, White. R Gray. Gold Coast: Bennell 2. Matera, Gorringe, Harbrow, K Kolodjashnij, Lynch.
BEST – Gold Coast: McKenzie Bennell Lynch Prestia O’Meara Rischitelli. Port Adelaide: Hartlett Westhoff Lobbe Gray Jonas Broadbent.
Injuries – Gold Coast: Broughton (elbow) replaced in selected side by Herbert; Dixon (quad); Stanley (shoulder) Port Adelaide: Trengove (ankle) replaced in selected side by Logan; Monfries (hip) replaced in selected side by Young
UMPIRES - Sam Hay, Mathew Nicholls, Leigh Fisher
CROWD - 10,042 at Metricon Stadium

The Power is still on. Just. Port Adelaide had this game in its keeping for the most of the second half, and had dominated it for long stretches before that. Yet somehow, with a few minutes remaining, the Power found themselves defending a three-point lead after an amazing goal by Gold Coast's Harley Bennell raised the possibility of the Suns snatching the win.

It wouldn’t have been highway robbery as much as an abject surrender on Port’s part. But Chad Wingard, after having no impact on the match, finally put the Suns away from a set shot, gifted the ball after a handball in defence by Suns forward Tom Lynch went straight to Ollie Wines.

It wasn’t that Port was lucky. It had been the better side, dominating the Suns in most facets of the game, and spent most of the game in attack: the final inside 50 count was a lopsided 72-59. Yet the Power could only manufacture 21 scores, and seven goals from those opportunities.

In fairness, the conditions were appalling. It was wet, and the drizzle increased to a drenching by the last quarter. But Port could not have made heavier weather of the win had a tsunami swamped the ground. Nonetheless, it is all but entrenched in fifth, and still a chance of a top-four finish.

The Suns’ season has all but been snuffed out. They sit 10th, with a poor percentage and games against Essendon and West Coast to come. The wheels have fallen off since Gary Ablett wrecked his shoulder against Collingwood. That was perhaps their greatest victory. Since then they have been at sea.

At least their effort was back on Saturday. The Suns were physical in a way not only demanded by the conditions, but unrecognisable from the seemingly rudderless team of recent weeks. Bodies were hitting contests at express speed; it was the courage of O’Meara and Charlie Dixon that set up Harley Bennell for an early goal.

The Suns had jumped the Power and it took a freak goal to put Port on the board: after a spoil from the goal square went straight to Jake Neade,  he paddled the ball to Wines, who soccered the ball back into the square; the cross was volleyed perfectly by Justin Westhoff. Few goals at the World Cup were as deft.

From there, the game settled into an ugly grind as rain continued to fall. Port Adelaide slowly began to assert control, led by Matthew Lobbe, who was giving Daniel Gorringe a bath in the ruck. Hamish Hartlett, Robbie Gray and Westhoff were all leading their opponents a merry dance.

But they couldn’t put it on the scoreboard. Port’s only other goal of the half came courtesy of Gray, who curled in a snap after a chest mark on the boundary line. Otherwise, the Power couldn’t find an avenue to goal, with Jay Schulz unable to take a mark in the wet conditions. They were indirect and handball-happy.

At the other end, Tom Lynch was the Suns’ most influential player, grabbing most of what came his way, dishing off a fine handball to Brandon Matera for the Suns’ third goal, then kicking their fourth himself, also soccered off the ground, but an excellent effort for a big man in slippery conditions.

It gave the Suns an unlikely narrow lead at half-time, and Jarrod Harbrow extended the margin to 13 points soon after the break. But there was always the sense that Port had more in reserve, at least if it could improve its efficiency, both around the ground and on goal.

The Suns also had injury problems, a blight that’s ruined the second half of their season. They’d rolled the dice in playing Dixon, who had a quad injury, and lost: the big man was substituted in the second quarter. Jack Martin could hardly walk by the third. Danny Stanley had a sore shoulder.

It didn’t take long for Hartlett to level the scores, gathering and snapping the ball cleanly from a throw-in, minutes after Matt White had answered Harbrow’s goal from a set shot. The Suns looked out of legs by then – and still, by the last change, Port could only muster a two-point lead.

The Power had just four goals and 12 behinds on the board, one less goal than the Suns after almost 30 more inside 50 entries. It was rare to see a side so completely dominate a game for so little advantage. Late goals to Gorringe and Bennell gave them a fright, but the Suns were physically spent, and finally extinguished.