Boak cleared of serious injury; Star Giant free agent plays waiting game; Fyfe and Jackson impress

Port Adelaide veteran Travis Boak has been cleared of serious injury despite suffering severe bruising in a heavy marking clash during Friday night’s practice match against the West Coast Eagles.

Port said Boak, an AFL stalwart with more than 300 matches under his belt, would continue to be assessed after he was flattened by Jeremy McGovern after the Eagles defender flew for a mark.

“Boak underwent tests last night which confirmed no fracture but extensive bruising around his ribs and lung area,” Port said in a statement.

West Coast edged Port Adelaide by eight points, 13.6 (84) to 11.10 (76), in the AFL simulation match in Perth.

Boak took the full brunt of McGovern’s leg and looked ginger as he made his way off the field.

Former Eagle Junior Rioli booted two first-half goals, both from point-blank range.

West Coast expressed their disappointment when Rioli sought a trade to Port at the end of last season.

But it seems as though Eagles players still have a soft spot for Rioli, with West Coast captain Luke Shuey giving his former teammate a hug before the match.

Prized Port Adelaide recruit Jason Horne-Francis produced a series of classy moments.

Eagles veteran Elliot Yeo was one of his team’s best, showing no signs of the various injuries that have plagued him in recent seasons.

“He is elite,” Eagles assistant coach Daniel Pratt said of Yeo.

“He is so dynamic. We sometimes forget how good he is. We haven’t seen him do that for a few years due to injury.”

AAP and Scott Spits

Star free-agent Giant plays waiting game

Jon Pierik

Greater Western Sydney free agent Harry Himmelberg will wait and see where he fits in under new coach Adam Kingsley in the home-and-away season, before determining whether he signs a new contract.

The star utility’s four-year contract expires this season, and he is one of the blue-chip free agents on offer.

After playing six seasons predominantly as a forward, the 26-year-old was moved to defence midway through 2022 under caretaker coach Jarrod McVeigh. He trained as a forward over summer but the fact the Giants landed No.1 pick Aaron Cadman, a 195cm strong marking forward, has added to the option they have inside 50, meaning Himmelberg may be needed more in defence.

Star Giants Harry Himmelberg utility could be one of the more heavily pursued free agents this season.Credit:Getty Images

Originally from Wagga Wagga, Himmelberg’s parents have shifted from Brisbane to Adelaide, where his younger brother Elliott has signed a two-year contract extension with the Crows.

Himmelberg’s manager Dave Trotter, of Hemisphere Management, said he had had a brief chat with Giants list boss Jason McCartney.

“Hopefully, he is happy, the club is happy, and we get it (contract) done early. Jase McCartney and myself have spoken briefly but it hasn’t really progressed anywhere yet. We’ll wait and see,” Trotter told The Age.

“I don’t know if it will drag on, but the free agents always seem to create the most interest. Adam Kingsley is doing a great job up there. We were up there seeing all the Giants’ boys last week, they are all really happy.

“But I think they are all waiting to see what happens. There is always interest in the free agents. We hope our boys are happy, but there are only 22 spots a week for a list of 40-odd. The odds are we will be moving a couple.

“We have a few boys out of contract. It’s not just a new coach, it’s a whole new regime, coaching panel. I talked to Harry last week about contract stuff, he said: ‘Mate, I haven’t had any headspace to think about that with all the new learnings’. They just want a bit of time to get settled.”

Asked if he felt the Crows would come calling, Trotter, who guided Josh Schache from the Western Bulldogs to Melbourne in last year’s trade period, replied: “We’ll have to wait and see.”

Himmelberg booted five goals in the Giants’ intra-club clash in Canberra on Saturday. Assistant coach Brett Montgomery said last month that Himmelberg, a 127-game veteran, had the ability to be an All-Australian defender.

“I see Harry as one of these types that could potentially be an All-Australian centre half-back and, at the moment, he’s running around the forward line playing roles for us because we need him, that’s where it sits,” he said.

Himmelberg booted 22 goals in 22 games last year, including bags of three against Sydney and the Gold Coast Suns.

The Giants have been buoyed by emerging star Tom Greene signing a four-year contract extension.

Fyfe, Jackson star in Dockers’ pre-season loss to Crows

Prized Fremantle recruit Luke Jackson and former skipper Nat Fyfe have impressed for the Dockers in their 11-point practice match loss to Adelaide in Perth.

Fyfe kicked three goals – including a 50m set shot late in the match – while Jackson was lively in the ruck and dangerous in stints up forward in Adelaide’s 12.5 (77) to 10.6 (66) victory.

The Crows broke the game open with a five-goal burst in the third quarter, but the match was a closely-fought affair apart from that.

Luke Jackson.Credit:Getty Images

Fyfe was on song from the outset, taking a series of marks on the lead early in the match before kicking his first goal in the second quarter.

The two-time Brownlow medallist should have booted another before halftime, but his set shot from 35m out missed.

Fyfe nailed his second goal in the third quarter after a holding the ball decision was followed by a 50m penalty.

But he saved his best for last with a 50m set shot in the dying minutes of the match.

Jackson was also impressive, with his deft ruck taps giving his midfield silver-spoon service at times.

The premiership big man was also strong at ground level, with one of his intercepts in the first half resulting in a Fyfe mark in attack.

New Crows recruit Izak Rankine showed his class with two first-half goals, the second a clever snap over his shoulder, and ended the match with three goals to his name.

Old bull Rory Sloane, playing his first game since tearing his ACL in round five last season, was embraced by teammates after booting a first-half major.

The Crows lost Josh Worrell to a hamstring injury.


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