• Mon. Mar 6th, 2023

With Port Adelaide’s prison bar guernsey out of bounds, skipper Tom Jonas has declared he’ll be happy to beat Adelaide in whichever guernsey he’s given on Saturday night.

Club chairman David Koch has been fighting a losing battle to gain permission from Collingwood for Port’s players to don the fabled prison bars in their home Showdown at Adelaide Oval.

But winning, not his wardrobe, is on Jonas’s mind in a natch that matters no matter when it’s played in a two-team town, more so given the Crows won the first stoush in 2022.

“It would be nice to wear the prison bars, but that’s a decision that is well beyond me,” Jonas said on Monday.

“I’ll run out there and beat the Crows in whatever they want me to wear.

“Certainly, we were on the wrong end of it last time and we want to make amends for that, for sure.

“I don’t think there’s any such thing as a dead rubber when it comes to a Showdown. There’s a huge amount of pride on the line.

“Essentially, there’s bragging rights around the state and you can walk around with your chest puffed out.”

The clash of cross-town rivals could be Robbie Gray’s farewell match, with the five-time Showdown Medal winner mulling retirement.

The four-time All-Australian, who was rested for the 84-point thumping of Essendon, has played 15 games this season to take his career tally to 270 but has been hampered by persistent knee problems.

Jonas remains unsure which way the 34-year-old is leaning as he considers his future.

“Robbie is a very private person,” he said.

“He’ll make the decision that’s right for him at the right time.

“I’m sure that he’s consulting all of the people that are important in his life.

“As far as I’m concerned, he’s an absolute champion of our club … he’ll do what’s right for him and the club at the right time.”

The Power bounced back into form in emphatic fashion against the Bombers, with the lopsided victory at Marvel Stadium snapping a four-game losing streak that dashed finals hopes.

While pleased with the performance, many fans will be left asking why Port was unable to perform at the same high standard more consistently in a season that started with premiership aspirations.

“There’s a lot of factors that go into that,” Jonas said.

“We’ve played some really quality sides in the last four to six weeks and Essendon are probably at a similar point in their season where you’ve got to find motivation and I think we had a great purpose and that made a huge difference.

“We got a good run on and played some exciting footy.

“Why we haven’t been able to do that consistently is the question we’ll be asking ourselves over the pre-season.”

The 52nd meeting of Adelaide’s AFL rivals will bring both clubs‘ seasons to a close, but there is no shortage of motivation for each side despite the lack of a finals angle.

The Crows, who will take the momentum of a three-game winning run into the clash, famously claimed Showdown bragging rights earlier this season when Jordan Dawson kicked the winner after the siren.

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