Robbie Gray had kicked clutch matching-winning goals on a string of occasions ahead of Friday night’s duel with Richmond – and the Port Adelaide champion stepped up again to deliver the Power victory.
The four-time All Australian outmuscled Jayden Short to take a terrific contested grab with four minutes left on the clock, before nailing a set shot off a difficult angle from 45 metres out to snatch the lead for his side.
A goal-less and frantic passage of play then played out as the Power clung on for a two-point win to avenge for last year’s preliminary final defeat to the Tigers, winning 11.13 (79) to 11.11 (77) at Adelaide Oval.
Vitally, Port Adelaide’s win means they’re 3-1 to start the season and back in the top four, having responded in winning fashion to last week’s mauling at the hands of West Coast.
On the contrary, reigning premiers Richmond are now in unfamiliar territory, having crashed to consecutive losses for the first time since rounds three and four of last season. The Power were last week thrashed by the Swans and, after Friday’s loss, now sit in sixth.
Fox Footy commentator James Brayshaw summed up the scenario perfectly as Gray nailed the go-ahead goal in the Power’s thrilling win over the Tigers.
“He knows how to kick them when the game’s on the line, Robbie Gray,” Brayshaw said.
“That was absolutely beautiful.”
Port Adelaide coach Ken Hinkley was clearly a satisfied man when asked about Gray’s kick in his post-match press conference.
“I’m glad he plays for us,” Hinkley said with a smile.
“That was a great finish.”
Gray kicked a clutch match-winning goal to snare a stunning Port Adelaide victory over St Kilda in round 19, 2017.
The triple best-and-fairest winner collected an immaculate Paddy Ryder tap and pierced the sticks on the run from the 50-metre arc to steal the lead with just 10 seconds left.
He then produced more heroics in round seven of last season, draining a set shot off a difficult angle from the right-forward pocket after the siren to break Carlton hearts.
For a daily dose of the best of the breaking news and exclusive content from Wide World of Sports, subscribe to our newsletter by clicking here!