Port Adelaide's Aliir Aliir played a pivotal part in his side's dominant performance against Geelong in the first half of their AFL finals clash on Friday night.
Aliir did his job at the back on a number of Geelong forwards, with an incredible five intercept marks and three spoils in the first quarter alone highlighting how he disrupted their attack.
Port Adelaide's strategy involved putting Aliir on numerous smaller forwards from the Cats, instead of just putting him on the obvious threats like Jeremy Cameron and Tom Hawkins.
"He's been brilliant," AFL great Jonathan Brown said on Fox Footy.
"I really like the strategy. They've put a lot of thought into it and Aliir has been a very important player."
Aliir was seen marking Geelong's Brad Close, Gary Rohan, Luke Dahlhaus, and Gryan Miers and his efforts appeared to rattle the Cats.
By halftime Aliir had six disposals and three contested marks but it was what wasn't shown on the stats sheet that was most telling.
"Aliir Aliir has been the dominant player on the ground," Mark Ricciuto said on Fox Footy.
"What it actually made Geelong do was try and play a different style of football.
"[Patrick] Dangerfield tried to play on across the face of goal and it was intercepted and they scored from it. That was because they didn't want to kick it down the line to Aliir Aliir - so Dangerfield goes for a kick that is hardly on.
"Not just is he taking intercept marks, he's causing them to change the way they play so he's had a huge impact on this game."
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