Rebounding defender Matthew Broadbent says Saturday’s clash with Hawthorn could help set up Port Adelaide’s entire AFL season.
The Power host the reigning premiers in a rematch of last year’s thrilling preliminary final, when the Hawks held on by three points after a barnstorming final-quarter fightback.
The upcoming Adelaide Oval match will offer both sides a rare chance to play on Anzac Day, making it even more special.
“It’s massive for us. This week might be the most important week of the regular season,” Broadbent told AAP.
“It’s just a massive game, there’s no other way to describe it.
“They’re the best side in the comp at the moment. They’re animals at it (tackling and contested ball).
“Hopefully we get a big crowd at Adelaide Oval and it’ll help us get over the line.”
No team has faced as tough a start to the season as Port.
Ken Hinkley’s men started their campaign with a trip to Perth where they faced Fremantle, hosted Sydney then pipped North Melbourne to bank their first win of the season.
They next tackle Hawthorn and in-form Adelaide.
Broadbent suggested the Power were relishing the testing run, opining there was no better time than the start of the season to measure up against the best.
“We’re going to have to play them all at some stage of the year anyway, so why not do it now? The good thing is we get an early gauge on where we’re at,” the 24-year-old said.
“To be a good side you have to beat good sides.
“We had a bit of a disappointing start to the year, now we can really get some momentum rolling and establish a good platform to launch our season.”
Broadbent was one of Port’s best in their dramatic eight-point win over the Kangaroos at Etihad Stadium.
The visitors kicked two goals in the last five minutes of the game to seal victory, with Broadbent praising how “brave” his teammates were in the final stages.
“You’ve just got to keep taking the game on in that situation,” he said.
“We wanted to come out and make a statement with our tackling and contested ball numbers.
“At times we were really good with that, but at times it dropped away.
“We’ve still got a bit to work to do, but it was a good step for us.”