Theories abound over Port's AFL efforts - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Theories abound over Port's AFL efforts

By Daniel Brettig 28/05/2008 05:03:35 PM Comments (0)

There have been a raft of theories floated about why Port Adelaide have failed to match their 2007 AFL efforts.

A reduced pre-season, weightier expectations, an inexperienced backline and greater opposition scrutiny are chief among suggestions proffered, along with the AFL's curious new draw that has Port playing Sydney and Geelong twice within the first 11 weeks of the season.

However it took Kane Cornes, one of the 2007 grand finalists' most plain speakers, to offer a more simple reason which may be behind a run of close defeats to sides above them in the race for finals - the victors have wanted it more.

"It comes down a little bit to luck, (but) a little comes down to doing every little thing you can do," Cornes said.

"How much you really want to win. On the weekend Sydney probably played that footy that they were just absolutely desperate and maybe wanted to win a little bit more than us."

The loss, however slight, of hunger for premiership points and position has been significant to Port's season, as the big moments often won by the Power last year have been squandered this time around.

It leaves a talented and developing side being placed 12th with a 3-6 record, possibly only a loss to Fremantle separating them from top eight oblivion for the rest of the year.

Cornes said the Sunday afternoon match-up against the struggling Dockers at Subiaco, which will mark his 150th league appearance, had the potential to galvanise Port's season if they were to win, but do exactly the opposite with a loss.

"Every week we've been saying it but if we happen to lose this one it puts us in a very ordinary position," he said.

"We play very well over there, they've been struggling this year, they need to win as well, but if we play as well as we have been we'll get the result.

"I haven't looked too closely (at Fremantle), I know they've really pushed some of the top teams. They probably should've won against Geelong, and had a disappointing loss to Melbourne.

"But we did the same against Brisbane, so they're in a similar position, struggling a little as well. But if we come to play and play our best footy we'll win."

Power coach Mark Williams has taken an optimistic view of the most recent loss to Sydney, choosing to highlight the toughness and skill that kept Port in the game rather than feeble kicks out on the full and faulty decision-making that stopped them from winning it.

"We let ourselves down in the first half in a few minor areas but for the majority of the game we were very good," Cornes said.

"Our finishing off in front of goal let us down a little bit and we probably had opportunities to go two and three goals up which would've put us in a much better position ... for 95 per cent we were terrific."

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