Port Adelaide’s season is over: here’s why
WITH one solitary point separating Port Adelaide and GWS on Saturday night season 2019 officially comes to an end for Port Adelaide.
Don’t believe the “one win out the eight” chat coming from the club, this season is over with no finals on the horizon this September.
With eight wins from 18 matches and the likelihood of 12 wins being the pass mark for finals football, Port Adelaide would have to beat Essendon, Sydney, North Melbourne and Fremantle to give ourselves a look at eighth spot.
In our current form, on the back of three losses, it’s hard to see where our next win comes from, let alone winning four on the trot.
With nine wins from our last 25 matches, we’re not only undeserving of a finals berth – we’re in far more distress than many of us would like to admit.
Admirably, we kept the third highest scoring side in the competition to 56 points, alas, with our disjointed forward movement we were only able to muster up 55 points ourselves, from 53 I50 entries.
In the past five weeks Port have scored seven, nine, six, 15 and five goals, the 15 against Adelaide being the exception to a side struggling to hit the scoreboard.
With our forward line struggling for answers, the match committee dropped Dixon after some poor form, they say.
For several weeks we have bombed the ball onto Dixon’s head where opposition defensive units have been able to assemble two or three defenders on him to ensure not only is he unlikely to mark the ball, but influence the fall of the ball or direct it to our smalls.
The same approach was used on the weekend, this time to Robbie Gray.
Are you as surprised as I am that it didn’t work?
Again, a slow start cost us, GWS kicked the first two goals to lead by 17 points at quarter time and we eventually lose by one point.
Poor starts have killed us in five games this year.
Players aren’t entering the field with the right mindset, they aren’t (gulp) ready to play.
This says plenty about the mindset of the group for mine.
At amateur level a coach probably needs to “switch on” his team, work, family, all those things cloud a player’s mind and before he/she knows it he/she is in a cold shed smelling of Deep Heat about to go into battle with his/her mates.
He/she needs to be woken up.
Professionals, I don’t think they do.
They shouldn’t, anyway.
One who was ready to play early on Saturday night was Justin Westhoff.
He thwarted either in the air or on the ground several GWS forward thrusts and if not for his efforts early, those of Lycett, Boak and to some extent Sam Powell-Pepper (who I thought was okay early) things could have been much worse.
What couldn’t be any worse was halfway through the first quarter we were going at zero per cent disposal efficiency in the forward 50.
In case you missed that, ZERO.
Some of this was GWS midfield pressure, some of it was the leading pattern of the forwards, all of it was rubbish.
Gray, Gray and Rozee goaled in the second quarter and somehow, I don’t know how, we go into half time just one goal down.
Two posters from the Giants helped, as did a welcome return to form for Tom Jonas who, by his standards, had a fairly ordinary three weeks prior.
No lone soldier there, but his second quarter was solid and he looked to have the back half set up as we zoned, rolling across, pushing up.
After half-time Port managed to again win the territory game, but as was the story of the night the third term went the Giants way as Ports 2.3 was overrun by the Giants 3.1 and the lead was extended to 10 points at three-quarter-time.
Now, if at this point you told me we’d keep the Giants to 1.1 for the last quarter, with the possession we had forward of the ball and just a 10-point deficit, I’d have said we win an unlikely victory and keep our season alive, just.
Alas, not so.
We had six scoring shots, five of them from GWS turnovers, the type of turnovers that must simply result in goals.
Nope. 2.4 for the last quarter and we go down by the barest or margins.
It was an odd feeling walking out of the ground, hollow, empty, not shattered or angry like I was after the Brisbane loss.
We had every chance to win on the night, we didn’t help ourselves from the moment the match committee sat down, to the moment we plundered one shot after another on goal.
Simple misses cost you games and on the weekend, it did.
Dave’s best – Boak, Westhoff, R.Gray, Rockliff, SPP, Houston