Power and Blues set for niggling affair - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Power and Blues set for niggling affair

By Daniel Brettig 07/06/2008 04:26:16 PM Comments (0)

Given the amount of verbal ammunition on display this week, Port Adelaide's meeting with Carlton at AAMI Stadium on Sunday should be high on niggle.

Few AFL matches in 2008 will be preceded by as much midweek jousting.

Not for the first time, Chad Cornes started by absent-mindedly suggesting that this week was the start of an easier draw for the Power.

Blues coach Brett Ratten responded by contending that Port were heading for a fall if they thought they could "downhill ski" over his men and added weight to the remark by adding that Port were an "outside" team - code for soft.

Port's quotable coach Mark Williams had these comments in mind when he spoke pre-game and by acknowledging their basis in fact he twisted them into a challenge to his players.

But he also noted ruefully how Cornes' words had started a fire that was also enhanced by some trademark Brendan Fevola lip.

"That's what happens when you let a player talk," Williams said.

"Every week is difficult in the AFL, I think (Cornes) has drawn a long bow.

"There are no easy games and every team finds that out sooner or later.

"Brett (Ratten) has probably tagged us pretty well maybe we try and do that too often, so it will be interesting to see how the players react."

Carlton too will be looking for a reaction, and Fevola's combination of attitude and skill may prove dangerous against a Power defence that is still poorer for Darryl Wakelin's retirement last year.

Williams is likely to place a considerable amount of faith in emerging defender Alipate Carlile, a player who was impressively tagged "another Mal Michael in the making" by Cornes.

"Well, he's played on Lloyd he's played on Brown, so I'm thinking Fevola is up there with those quality players," Williams said of Carlile.

"He'll play some time on Fev, don't worry about that.

"I think Fev kicked eight goals against Essendon and the team (Carlton) lost.

"On other occasions he has not kicked that many and won - we understand that Eddie Betts and Fisher they can push other guys down there who and kick goals.

"(Cameron) Cloke is looking dangerous down there as well. (Carlton) are a pretty rounded side now, they've been together for a bit of time.

"With their quality picks that they have had obviously those players are going to come through."

Port have dropped regular small defender Jacob Surjan to free up room for Domenic Cassisi's return following the strong form of tyros Paul Stewart and Nathan Krakouer against Fremantle last week.

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