WEST Coast captain Luke Shuey has suffered another hamstring injury during his side’s 37-point AFL win over Port Adelaide at Optus Stadium.
Shuey, who missed the first two rounds with a hamstring strain, trudged off in the final quarter of the 16.12 (108) to 11.5 (71) win on Saturday night following his latest setback.
It’s unclear if it was the same hamstring he injured during the pre-season.
But either way, it continued a worrying run of soft tissue injuries for Shuey, who strained both hamstrings in a game against Essendon last year, and was also hampered by a calf issue over summer.
Shuey played a crucial role in the win over Port, with his 10-possession opening term setting the tone in front of 42,090 fans.
Andrew Gaff (36 disposals), Tim Kelly (27), Jack Redden (31), and Shuey (28) feasted on the ruck dominance of Nic Naitanui (26 hitouts), while Josh Kennedy kicked four goals and Jack Darling three.
Port’s star-studded midfield barely fired a shot, and the game was over by half-time when West Coast had opened up a 52-point lead.
Robbie Gray and Todd Marshall kicked three goals each for the Power, but it was when the game was already out of reach.
The Power crushed North Melbourne and Essendon in the first two rounds, but their flop against West Coast will be a major reality check.
Shuey put on a clinic in the opening term as West Coast took complete control.
Even luck was on West Coast’s side, with a Naitanui centre tap that was volleyed forward by Shuey landing in the arms of Liam Ryan for their third goal in four minutes.
West Coast led 34-7 at quarter time, and they revved it up another notch in the second term as Port Adelaide’s midfield was bullied into submission.
Ryan pulled off a mark-of-the-year contender when he jumped early on the shoulders of Darcy Byrne-Jones and hung there for a couple of seconds to pull down the spectacular grab.
Jamie Cripps booted a goal-of-the-year contender when he split the middle on the run from the pocket.
Port forward Mitch Georgiades kicked his second goal for the match during the second term, but it was a rare moment of joy for the visitors.
Power stars Ollie Wines (six disposals), Robbie Gray (five ), and Travis Boak (eight) hardly touched the ball in the first half.
Port Adelaide were able to stem the bleeding in the second half, but the damage had already been done.
(C) AAP 2021
WEST COAST 5.4 10.7 13.8 16.12 (108)
PORT ADELAIDE 1.1 2.3 6.3 11.5 (71)
Goals: West Coast: J Kennedy 4 J Darling 3 J Cripps 2 L Ryan 2 D Sheed J Brander J Petruccelle O Allen T Kelly. Port Adelaide: R Gray 3 T Marshall 3 M Georgiades 2 O Fantasia 2 W Drew.
Umpires: Jacob Mollison, Nicholas Foot, Craig Fleer.
Official Crowd: 42,090 at Optus Stadium.