Port defence braced for Brown assignment - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Port defence braced for Brown assignment

By Daniel Brettig 09/04/2008 05:26:27 PM Comments (0)

Port Adelaide's vulnerable defence will need significant help if it is to stop Brisbane Lions spearhead Jonathan Brown from enjoying another night out at AAMI Stadium this week.

This Power backline has been frequently cited as a glaring weakness this season in a team geared towards attack, and there are few greater tests than those posed by Brown and his cohort Daniel Bradshaw.

Master utility Chad Cornes said he was unsure who Port coach Mark Williams had earmarked to mind Brown, but offered his own considerable services for the task if required.

"If Choco came to me and said I want you to play on him then I would, but he hasn't done that yet," Cornes said.

"I'm not sure who's going to get the job on him, I don't know the statistics but most of their inside 50m entries are aimed towards him.

"If we can get a bit of help back from our ruckmen I'm sure one player will be given that role to help the defence."

Aside from Cornes, Port's key defensive options are Toby Thurstans, Alipate Carlile and Troy Chaplin, none of whom are in the pinkest of form following the Power's disheartening 0-3 start.

The onus will also be on the Power's midfield to block supply, meaning Kane Cornes and Domenic Cassisi are sure to apply their closest tag to two of Simon Black, Luke Power and Nigel Lappin.

Hard nut Matt Thomas will be out to make his presence felt in the Brisbane midfield, though not with quite the same violent effect that saw Nathan Bassett stretchered off after being slammed to the ground in a Thomas tackle on Sunday.

Cornes said he was delighted with how physically testing Port had been against Adelaide, and - given the blessing of the AFL match review panel that did not find fault with the Bassett tackle - urged Thomas not to change his game.

"I don't think anything should've gone to the tribunal, Matty Thomas' tackle got talked about a lot, it's unfortunate and you don't want to see guys stretchered off, but it was in the rules and all the other bumps were as well," he said.

"Thommo, I was rapt with the way he played, for a young guy to come in and show that courage and aggression is exactly how we want to play."

Meanwhile, rookie Port ruckman Hugh Minson has been forced to retire, aged 20.

Minson, the brother of Western Bulldogs ruckman Will Minson hasn't played an AFL game in three years at the Power.

He has been told by doctors he should retire from all contact sport because of knee degeneration.

"I have seen specialists in Adelaide and Melbourne and all the medical professionals are telling me to stop playing football to prevent further serious damage to the joint," he said.

"I'm devastated ... I'm not on crutches and my leg is not in plaster but whether I have surgery or not, I'm told it will never stand up to AFL life."

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