K rock Football

Skipper defends Dixon

Charlie Dixon in action for Port Adelaide. (Sports Media Image/Marcel Berens)

PORT Adelaide captain Tom Jonas has launched a passionate defence of teammate Charlie Dixon, saying it’s folly to measure the key forward purely on goals kicked.

Dixon was held goalless for the third time in seven matches this season in Port’s heavy 49-point loss to by Brisbane last weekend.

The spearhead has booted just 10 goals this year but Jonas says Dixon shouldn’t be judged by his scoring output.

“His role in the team is much more significant than that,” Jonas told reporters on Tuesday.

“He’s the leader of the forward line.

“It’s about providing a contest and bringing the ball to ground and that is what he’s measured by.

“We have obviously got a dangerous small forward line and by bringing the ball to the front, it gives them opportunity to get involved in the game and also puts the opposition under pressure.”

The loss to Brisbane was Port’s second defeat this season – the other was against West Coast when Dixon was also goal-less.

Both defeats have also been in away games, prompting some pundits to label the premiership fancies as flat-track bullies.

“They never sit well,” Jonas said of such labels.

“But if you look at our body of work, we have played some consistent footy for a long time.”We’re two (wins) and two (losses) on the road so it’s certainly not a disaster.”

Port expects former skipper Travis Boak to return for Saturday night’s clash against bitter foe Adelaide.

The Power enters as hot favourite against the Crows, who have lost three consecutive games, in a match heralding Adelaide Oval’s first 50,000-strong capacity crowd since the outbreak of coronavirus.

But Jonas cautioned against reading anything into form-lines ahead of matches between the South Australian rivals, dubbed Showdowns.

“If you look at the results of the past, there’s no guarantees both in Showdowns and in footy,” he said.

“There’s certainly a little bit extra on the line every time you run out on Adelaide Oval against the Crows, so it shouldn’t be an issue to find any motivation

“Playing your biggest arch-rival in front of a packed house, it’s going to be massive.

“There’s always a point to prove … whenever you’re playing your cross-town rivals, you want to make sure you come away with a win.”

(C) AAP 2021