Port Adelaide Power sweats at Orazio Fantasia’s knee injury after big win over Geelong Cats to advance to preliminary final

Port Adelaide star Orazio Fantasia is confident of making the preliminary final despite a knee injury that caused concern in Power’s 86-43 win over Geelong on Friday night.

Geelong could not give Tom Hawkins more reason to celebrate his 300th game with the loss of his coach described as “poor” and “evil”. The Cats will now face the winner of Sydney or GWS to keep their final campaign alive.

Meanwhile, Port Adelaide has a week off with the preliminary final set to take place at home at Adelaide Oval as the nation juggles an ongoing COVID-19 crisis.

The extra week off will be music to Fantasia’s ears after the little electric striker was substituted late in the game against Cats with a broken nose and in need of ice on his knee.

“He gave a blow and we weren’t going to take a risk,” said Port Adelaide coach Ken Hinkley.

“He was complaining that it was a bit painful, so we were in a position where we certainly weren’t going to take that chance.

“We have two weeks now, so he has plenty of time to recover from this, I guess.

“We no longer needed to take any risks.

Fantasia had surgery in June and missed rounds 11-20, but it looks like her knee problem persists.

“I felt a click,” Fantasia said after the win.

“It’s nice now that I have some ice cream on it, but it’s a bit painful.

“I knew I had to deal with this at the end of the season.

“I think it’s going to be okay with a break. It was good that I could have that break last week and take a break this week.

“I think the medical staff helped me tremendously knowing I was going to miss a good part, but to tune me up for the pointy toe.”

Fantasia was lethal with minimal touches, scoring four goals in nine eliminations as Power headed for their seventh straight win and second straight win over a top four team.

“I thought he was one of the best footballers we’ve played all year,” Travis Boak said after the game.

“20,000 here, they were so loud tonight. There is no doubt that they helped us to victory.”

Besides Fantasia, Port Adelaide defender Aliir Aliir was the other obvious star, setting aside the Geelong forwards with five interception marks and only three first quarter loot.

Port Adelaide’s strategy of putting Aliir on top of many smaller forwards instead of Hawkins and Jeremy Cameron worked perfectly as it stifled the Cats’ attack.

“He’s unreal. I still don’t think he gets the credit he deserves,” Power’s Ollie Wines told Fox Footy.

“He fits in very well in his role this year. He probably didn’t have the opportunities in Sydney so we’re so privileged to have him.

“He was able to pull the sting out of the 1950s interior.”

Hinkley was also impressed with Aliir’s exit on Friday night.

“He was really strong,” he said at his press conference.

“He’s had an amazing year, everyone knows that.

“Aliir played his end very well for us.”

Geelong Cats coach Chris Scott was scathing in his summary of the team’s performance against the Powers and expressed his utter disappointment at not having managed to get a better result for Hawkins’ landmark game.

“It was a bad performance,” he said in his post-match press conference.

“Pretty much anything that could go wrong has gone wrong.

“I think we had three 50 tackles forward for the night, which is really devilish,” he added.

“We kicked them in our back half which is uncharacteristic, the ball bounced off our front half and we didn’t challenge them enough, then we opened up with the desire to score who is always the risk you take when it comes to turning things around. “

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