Port Adelaide star Zak Butters has come under fire for his behaviour towards a GWS water-girl in Saturday night's AFL semi-final. Stephen Coniglio produced a first-half masterclass and Jesse Hogan nailed four goals as the Giants advanced to the preliminary final with a 13.15 (93) to 9.16 (70) victory at Adelaide Oval.
Vice-captain Coniglio produced his best display for some time, inspiring a five-goal blitz in 10 minutes in the second quarter as the Giants booked a showdown against flag favourites Collingwood next Friday night at the MCG. The Brisbane Lions will host Carlton at the Gabba in the other preliminary final on Saturday evening at 5.15pm (AEST).
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Port Adelaide joined Melbourne in exiting the finals in straight-sets after finishing the regular season in the top four. Ken Hinkley's men were only in the contest for a brief period at the start, and the behaviour of Butters perfectly epitomised their frustrations.
— Lace out (@laceoutofficial) September 16, 2023
The Port Adelaide star was preparing for a set shot at goal late in the second quarter when he became perturbed by how close a GWS water-girl was standing to him. Butters was walking back to take his kick right where the girl had been sitting.
He picked up a white plastic chair she had been sitting on and tossed it to the side, leaving her standing next to him rather awkwardly. When the umpire told him to hurry up and take the kick, Butters threw his arm out in exasperation towards the water-girl and told her off in no uncertain terms.
Fans were left unimpressed by Butters actions towards the girl, who was simply trying to do her job. To make matters worse he missed the kick and only had one behind in the first half.
She wasn’t even in the way. Completely classless
— nath :) (@nathandg12) September 16, 2023
Yeah this is really shit. I also take note of players who just drop the ball at the feet of boundary umpires when they know they’re right there
— Chris Williams (@c_willo) September 16, 2023
Should have been handled differently not a great look
— Nic (@NicBakes) September 16, 2023
Yep no need for that behaviour. Says a lot about a person that acts like that.
— Hubert 💙💛🏆🦅 (@HubertCook_) September 16, 2023
After being disrespectful to the girl, the arrogant, obnoxious dill looked at the ump and realised that he was going the wrong way! Was he just trying to assert himself after his head-duck embarrassment?🙄
— rafelson (@rafelson206) September 16, 2023
zak butters didn’t rate that,
treated that gws water girl like trash - off him
— micky burton (@micky_burton) September 16, 2023
Never had a reason to not like Zak Butters, but he’s just lost 100% of respect in 1 second. #AFLPowerGiants
— Harry Brown (@brownharry_8) September 16, 2023
Pretty disgusting behaviour.
— Mandy Moo 🐶🧘🏼♂️🎼 (@Moo5Sa) September 16, 2023
Butters towards that GWS water girl. So rude and uncalled for 🤮 gross x #AFLPowerGiants
— Emma (@emt34160561) September 16, 2023
Port Adelaide blown away by incredible GWS blitz
Speaking at half-time, Mark Ricciuto said in commentary: “They’ve been reliant on Connor Rozee and Zak Butters all season and today it’s caught up with them. Eight of the 10 top disposal winners are from GWS and if you win that much ball you’re going to have a day out. Port Adelaide are going to have to lift big time.”
Unfortunately for Port it was more of the same in the second half, as Coniglio collected 30 disposals and kicked two goals after missing last week's elimination final triumph over St Kilda because of an eye injury. Lachie Whitfield (33 disposals), Josh Kelly (21, two goals), Tom Green (29) and Callan Ward (24) were also outstanding for GWS, while Hogan and captain Toby Greene (three goals) were attacking menaces.
"It was really clear we learned some really valuable lessons from the last two weeks in the finals ... the game steps up in the contest," Power coach Hinkley said. "Everyone talks around it, it's not like we were surprised by it and ambushed by it in any way. We just weren't good enough to be able to cope with it."
The Giants silenced the 45,250-strong Port Adelaide crowd, created a match-high 33-point break before leading by 29 at half-time. Port actually held a three-point lead early in the second term, before the Giants' so-called 'Orange Tsunami' rolled in, leaving the AFL world in awe.
“They are stunned at the moment (Port Adelaide),” Luke Darcy said in commentary. “GWS are just in complete control of every part of their game.”
Jobe Watson added: “It’s becoming really problematic – six goals from clearances. Just allowing too much space for these Giants mids to work in. They’ve just got them spooked around the ball.”
AFL preliminary finals fixtures:
Collingwood v GWS - Friday 7.50pm, MCG
Brisbane v Carlton - Saturday 5.15pm, Gabba
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