AFL exports | Rockliff breaks Bombers, Harry’s Hawks mauled by Dogs

By Meg Saultry

Wet conditions in Adelaide on Saturday saw Benalla's Tom Rockliff at his bullish best in Port Adelaide's 50-point win over Essendon.

Rockliff starred for Port with a match-high 31 disposals, while a brilliant snap goal, along with seven score involvements and six tackles added to his influence.

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With Port's premiership credentials well and truly on show, the club steamrolled the Bombers to inch ever closer to the minor premiership.

Rockliff's influence was at its highest in the second quarter - Port outscored Essendon by 33 points - as the midfielder, who was dropped for three games earlier this season, truly cemented his spot in the side ahead of the club's push for a flag.

Port Adelaide will face Collingwood in the final game of the home and away season on Monday.

● As an out-of-finals-contention Hawthorn outfit looks to its youth in the remaining rounds this season, Benalla's Harry Morrison put together another solid performance in the brown and gold on Sunday.

Coming up against the Western Bulldogs at Adelaide Oval, the Hawks couldn't match the Dogs’ hunger as they fell to a 36-point loss.

And though Hawthorn won the third quarter, the game was never truly in doubt for the Dogs, who remain in the hunt for finals.

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Morrison picked up 16 disposals, four marks and three tackles throughout the contest to rank among the best for the Hawks.

The club, who sits 16th on the ladder, are scheduled to play Gold Coast in its final game of the season on Sunday.

● Caleb Marchbank won't feature at the senior AFL level this year, with Carlton officially making the call to have the defender focus on the 2021 season.

Director of High Performance Andrew Russell said Marchbank had some interruptions to his recovery from a leg injury during his return through the reserves.

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“He needed a perfect run to be able to play AFL this year but he hasn't had that,” Russell told last week.

“Given where he is at, given he hadn't done a lot of work leading into playing reserves, we decided to take him out for the season.

“We've got five months to prepare him until next year and that is exactly what we're going to do.”

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