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Port thrash GWS to stay in AFL finals hunt

A sparkling four-goal haul from Connor Rozee has helped Port Adelaide thump GWS by 55 points and keep their AFL finals flame flickering.

Port are just one win shy of the top eight after their 12.12 (84) to 3.11 (29) victory at Adelaide Oval on Saturday night.

The Giants’ loss was compounded by another serious hamstring injury to former captain Phil Davis, who turns 32 next month and falls off-contract at season’s end.

Davis, in just his third game back since spending three months on the sidelines because of a left hamstring injury, was barely able to put weight on his right leg after being hurt in the third quarter.

The stalwart’s injury came as the Giants crashed to a heavy defeat which does caretaker coach Mark McVeigh no favours in his bid to win the top job next season.

“We looked lethargic early, especially a lot of our senior players,” McVeigh said.

His Giants were never in the hunt after an eye-catching three-goal opening half from Port’s Rozee, who finished with 24 disposals and 11 score involvements.

Rozee’s teammates Sam Powell-Pepper (25 disposals, one goal), Jeremy Finlayson (22 touches, nine inside 50s) and Zak Butters (26 possessions) were instrumental while Todd Marshall and Kane Farrell both kicked two goals.

The Power, after losing five consecutive games to open their season, are 12th on the ladder and among three clubs sitting one win shy of eighth place.

“We are thereabouts but we’re not there yet,” Port coach Ken Hinkley said.

The Giants slumped to their biggest loss in McVeigh’s seven games in charge since Leon Cameron departed as head coach.

GWS co-captains Josh Kelly (27 disposals) and Stephen Coniglio (32 possessions) and Harry Himmelberg (23 touches) fought gamely.

Forward Jesse Hogan was lively with nine marks but, like his team generally, was wayward shooting at goal, finishing with 2.2.

Port seized control early with Rozee and Marshall slotting two goals apiece as the home side logged 4.2 to 1.4 in the first term.

The influential Rozee potted his third goal and missed a shot at a fourth in the second quarter when on the receiving end of a slinging Isaac Cumming tackle which will attract match review scrutiny.

The Power led by 38 points at halftime, 8.6 to 2.4, and increased their advantage within a minute of the third quarter when Charlie Dixon converted after a marking contest in which his opponent Davis damaged a hamstring.

Davis’ injury came in a tame second half when the Power outscored the Giants four goals to one.

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