Can Port Adelaide continue their playoff charge with and without Willie Rioli?
Port Adelaide will be able to have Willie Rioli back in their ranks sooner than first thought.
- Rioli was originally banned for 2 weeks, following a strike to Collingwood’s Nathan Murphy.
- Following the loss to Collingwood, Rioli received despicable racist abuse on social media.
- On appeal, Rioli’s lawyers were able to reduce his ban to just one week.
- However, the forward will miss the crucial clash with Adelaide in GW20.
Pinpointing where Port Adelaide have enjoyed success during the 2023 AFL season is no easy task.
Across all areas of the oval, the Suns have been imperious for most of the campaign and all AFL betting sites have been tracking their progress.
Many people would argue that it is the forward line where Port Adelaide have exceled this season and Willie Rioli has been a big part of that.
However, following his strike on Nathan Murphy against Collingwood last weekend – the 28-year-old has been banned for one match.
Rough with the smooth for Rioli
Following Port Adelaide’s classic with Collingwood last week, much of the aftermath surrounded Rioli’s clash with Murphy.
It proved decisive, as Collingwood went on to beat the Suns, with most betting apps now having them as the strong favourites for the title.
Willie Rioli was cited for his contact with Murphy and banned for 2 matches in the aftermath.
However, he has been able to successfully appeal that decision and he is now facing just one week in the sin bin.
A big miss?
On paper, missing a player for just one game seems no disaster but up next for Port Adelaide are bitter rivals, Adelaide.
Not having Rioli in forward areas will undoubtedly hurt the Suns and they will need to be at their best to overcome Adelaide.
Port Adelaide have lost their last two games, but they should bounce back here, and they are $1.44 with Bet365 to beat their old foes, without Rioli.
Rioli back for the run in
Finishing the season strongly will be essential for the Port Adelaide Suns and they will relish having Rioli back in game week 21.
Fixtures against the likes of Geelong, GWS Giants and Richmond await – meaning Port Adelaide will need to be on their mettle throughout the remainder of the campaign.
With Rioli expected to be back for the trip to Geelong at the start of August, Port Adelaide are $1.65 with TopSport to finish in the top 4, ahead of their AFL title challenge.