Roos lose to Port Adelaide 148-72 at MCG - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Roos lose to Port Adelaide 148-72 at MCG

30/08/2008 07:06:55 PM Comments (0)

North Melbourne coach Dean Laidley has apologised to the club's faithful and the family of 300-gamer Shannon Grant for the team's shock 76-point capitulation to Port Adelaide at the MCG.

Despite having the chance to secure fourth spot and earn a double chance in the finals, the Roos put in a very much "un-North Melbourne" like performance to succumb to the lowly-placed Power 23.10 (148) to 10.12 (72).

Laidley said his players simply did not work hard enough.

"I'm here to apologise firstly to our supporters and secondly to Shannon Grant's family and his supporters," Laidley said.

"It was a disgraceful effort today and it all comes down to effort required and it was non-existent.

"That was one of the things that we spoke about all week - the effort and again we spoke about last night's game and the effort required and (today) it was just non-existent.

"It's a mental application and about your desire to work hard within your role and your team role.

"We've blown an opportunity to finish fourth but we have another opportunity (in the finals)."

Laidley said the performance of the side's leaders was horrible and admitted youngsters Gavin Urquhart and Lindsay Thomas were struggling to maintain consistency after a long season.

He also questioned whether they could afford to play Aaron Edwards and Hamish McIntosh in the finals after both had missed much of the second half of the year through injury.

"Some of the guys who have served us so well have been on a slippery dip and some of the guys who have performed poorly today and who performed poorly last week make themselves vulnerable," he said.

"Do we take them (Edwards and McIntosh) into a finals series probably not being match hardened?

"That's the question we have to look very

closely at and pick the best side to win a final.

"It's important to be able to realign yourself, refocus and get yourself ready."

Despite booting the first three goals of the match, North had no answer to Port's running game as they piled on eight unanswered goals in the third term before booting another five goals to one in the final quarter.

Peter Burgoyne was clearly best afield after collecting a career high 45 possessions. But he was ably supported by Kane Cornes, who curtailed Daniel Wells' influence on the game as well as picking up 30 touches of his own.

David Rodan was unstoppable around the packs, booting a career-best five goals, while in attack Daniel Motlop was elusive as ever and Toby Thurstans provided a good target to kick to. The duo kicked three goals apiece.

While Port coach Mark Williams was pleased his team had started to master strategies which make them more flexible, he gave a veiled swipe at the umpires, saying Port were getting the raw end of the deal around the stoppages.

The free kick count was in favour of North 28-13.

"We got absolutely smashed (in free kicks around the stoppages.)

"We're not blaming anyone, we're just saying it's a fact. We need to spend more time with the umpiring department because I think we have had 90 free kicks the wrong way this year."

North's loss was further soured with Leigh Harding to miss the club's first final after re-injuring the knee that had been reconstructed in 2006.

Laidley said he had strained the medial ligament after he got tangled up in a tackle with Port's Robbie Gray in the first term.

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