Hawks, Port set for AFL epic

For the fourth week in a row, Port Adelaide will be playing in what is arguably the highlight of the AFL round.

The Power face Hawthorn in a rematch of last year’s thrilling preliminary final, with Adelaide Oval to host the Anzac Day epic.

Port overcame a spirited North Melbourne at Etihad Stadium in an early contender for the best game of the season.

The expectation is Saturday will deliver more of the same, with two teams adept at dishing out pressure and delivering under duress.

“They’re a formidable opponent. They played really well last night against the Kangaroos – it was a crackerjack game,” Hawks coach Alastair Clarkson said in Launceston, where his side thumped Western Bulldogs by 70 points on Sunday.

“We’re going to need to play our very best to be competitive.

“We need to recover well and get ourselves right for what’s going to be a pretty fierce contest.”

Clarkson added the reigning premiers were excited about the prospect of playing on Anzac Day.

“It’s usually only been afforded to the very few in AFL footy,” he said.

The Power pipped the Kangaroos by eight points to register their first win of the season, having lost to premiership contenders Sydney and Fremantle in the previous fortnight.

“Our boys have been put through the wringer a little bit early. That’s going to hold them in really good stead,” Port coach Ken Hinkley said.

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