Brisbane have reinforced growing queries about Port Adelaide’s AFL premiership credentials with a stunning 37-point upset win.
After starting the season with five losses, the Lions posted their second-straight win and added to Carlton’s woes by relegating them to the bottom of the ladder.
The 15.12 (102) to 8.17 (65) loss leaves the Power with a 3-4 record.
Two barnstorming seasons under coach Ken Hinkley meant Port started this seasons as one of the main premiership fancies.
But rivals have worked out how to blunt their fast-paced game style.
Port’s next opponents are Richmond, who posted their best win of the season so far in a pulsating five-point thriller against Collingwood at the MCG.
Coach Damien Hardwick lauded captain Trent Cotchin, who was best afield in the 16.9 (105) to 15.10 (100) win.
It featured 10 lead changes and will go down as one of the games of the year.
“Trent Cotchin’s game was unbelievable,” Hardwick said.
“He stood up when it counted.
“He was trying to come to the bench at the end, we sent him back on with four minutes to go and he willed us over the line.
“It was a great captain’s game.”
There were growing criticisms of the Tigers after three-straight losses.
But Sunday’s win also broke a seven-game losing streak against the Magpies.
The much-improved Western Bulldogs threatened to pull off another major Sunday upset when they pushed unbeaten Fremantle at Etihad Stadium.
Scores were level with six minutes left.
But the Dockers held their nerve, kicking the last two goals of the game to win 15.11 (101) to 14.4 (88).
Fremantle’s Brownlow Medal favourite Nat Fyfe is on report for tripping, but if he is found guilty his most likely penalty would be a fine.
Under the new tribunal rules, a financial sanction would not make him ineligible for the medal.
Sunday’s boilovers and thrillers were in stark contrast to Saturday’s series of beltings.
West Coast thrashed undermanned Gold Coast by 92 points, while GWS had their biggest winning margin (78 points) and kicked their highest score (19.21) at Carlton’s expense.
Hawthorn also flexed their considerable muscle and dismantled Melbourne by 105 points.
St Kilda captain Nick Riewoldt was taken to hospital with concussion as his side lost to Adelaide by 46 points.
Sydney kicked 10 goals to two in the second half on Saturday night, blowing Geelong away by 43 points.
On Friday night, North Melbourne beat Essendon by 11 points.
It completed a bad week for the Bombers, after WADA announced an appeal last Tuesday against the AFL anti-doping verdict that cleared 34 current and past Essendon players.