Brad Ebert
Brad Ebert

Port Adelaide coach Matthew Primus believes the feisty build-up to Saturday's Showdown XXXIII against Adelaide could go a long way to the Power causing an upset over their cross-town rivals.

The Power and Crows have spent all week encouraging players and supporters to re-ignite the fierce hatred and rivalry between the clubs.

The sides were criticised this week when they held a joint promotional press conference at the Ramsgate Hotel - the location best renowned for the infamous post-Showdown brawl between players in 2002.

Port Adelaide, however, have remained at the forefront of promoting the Showdown and banter with their derby foes by utilising a playful advertising campaign taunting Crows supporters.

Despite what some may see as added pressure on a Power side languishing in 15th place with just four wins, Primus said the weeklong off-field battle could reinvigorate his team and their season come Saturday.

"We need to and want to win a game of footy and we'd love to do it against our rivals to start to get our season back on track," Primus said.

"The hype's been pretty good all week and as a club we love playing these games and have built them up because we know how much they mean to our players and our supporters.

"We've really wanted to reinvigorate the rivalry and how big these games are, not just for the players but for the state.

"There has been a little bit of byplay, a bit of niggle between the clubs and I think that is great if that makes a few more thousand come out to watch the game.

"It is a big rivalry - both clubs love it - and it has been important to build it up."

The Power will be aided in their quest to snap a three-game losing streak with the return of star on-baller Travis Boak and crafty defender Jacob Surjan.

Boak has not played since Round 10 after undergoing foot surgery while Surjan returns after being a late withdrawal with a hip injury from last Sunday's 38-point loss to Geelong.

Key defender Jackson Trengove, who was expected to miss a month with a finger ailment, could also be a late inclusion if he receives the all-clear from medical staff.

"We will see how he (Trengove) pulls up Saturday morning and then weigh up the risk and reward of playing him," Primus said.

"First of all its up to the surgeon, if he says no then I won't say yes."

Meanwhile, Primus was eager to welcome back Boak to a team suffering an injury crisis.

"It's terrific to have Travis back, he is a quality midfielder and certainly adds to our strength in the midfield," Primus said.

"He gives us more depth, more power and ability to win the ball, so we are really looking forward to having him.

"He will be blowing early but he's ready to go and his foot's feeling really good."

Power top 10 draft pick Chad Wingard took a fall at training on Friday with an ankle concern but Primus confirmed the 18-year-old would be fit to take his place.

Sportal

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