Southport v Port Melbourne VFL Round 1 Match Report

The Southport Sharks have started their 2024 season with a resounding 46 point win in their Round 1 clash against fellow standalone club Port Melbourne.

Both clubs recruited strongly over the off-season and were desperate to get their new campaigns off to a good start, but it was the Sharks who proved too strong for the Borough on the day, winning 15.7 (97) to 7.9 (51).

The Borough hit the scoreboard first, kicking a goal in the first minute of the game before the Sharks steadied a couple of minutes later through a booming kick from Jacob Heron outside 50, which started a run of four goals in a row for Southport.

Leading by 20 points at quarter time, Zac Foot kicked a classy goal for the home side thirty seconds into the start of the second quarter, and a couple of minutes later, Boyd Woodcock kicked a set shot goal to get the Sharks out to a 32-point lead.

Port Melbourne then kicked two of the last three goals of the second quarter to keep the half time margin under five goals.

The third quarter was fairly even before one of Southport’s new recruits Aiden Hall and 2018 NEAFL premiership player Michael Manteit kicked goals just before three-quarter time to take the lead out to 39 points.

In the last quarter, the Sharks got out to a 61 point lead, before the Borough kicked two consolation goals to reduce the final margin to 46 points.

After the game, Southport Coach Steve Daniel said, “Off the back of the year we had last year, we really wanted to start the season off well.”

“We knew how well Port Melbourne had recruited over the off-season and that we had to bring our best or close to it, to beat them, and to the boy’s credit, I think we did.”

“There are obviously some areas we’d like to improve, but for our first game of the year, I couldn’t be prouder of how the group applied themselves for four quarters.”

Boyd Woodcock (44 disposals and two goals) was terrific in the middle as was Southport co-captain Jacob Dawson (41 disposals).

Jesse Joyce (31 disposals and eight marks) was electric in his new role on the half back, and key defender Rhys Clark slotted straight back into the Sharks defence after a year off VFL footy.

Newly named co-captain Brayden Crossley was also dominant in the ruck with 46 hit outs and a goal.

Up forward, Zac Foot kicked three goals and new recruits Hugh Dixon and Wylie Buzza kicked two goals each.

Attention for the Sharks is now on their clash against the Werribee Tigers at Fankhauser Reserve this Saturday at 12:05pm (AEST).

Southport v Port Melbourne – Saturday, 23 March, Fankhauser Reserve, 12:05pm

SOUTHPORT 5.4 8.5 11.7 15.7 (97)

PORT MELBOURNE 2.2 4.3 5.4 7.9 (51)

GOALS: Zac Foot 3, Wylie Buzza 2, Hugh Dixon 2, Boyd Woodcock 2, Brayden Crossley, Aiden Hall, Jacob Heron, Michael Manteit, Ryan Banks-Smith, Jay Lockhart

BEST PLAYERS: Boyd Woodcock, Jacob Dawson, Hugh Dixon, Jesse Joyce,  Zac Foot, Rhys Clark

Click here for VFL Round 1 – Southport v Port Melbourne Match Highlights, Mini Match, Replay and Stats
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Photo Credit: Highflyer Images