Port concocting plan to contain Cox - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Port concocting plan to contain Cox

By Daniel Brettig 01/04/2009 05:24:13 PM Comments (0)

Port Adelaide must plan to shark the ruck taps of Eagles big man Dean Cox after being robbed of the services of their leading follower Dean Brogan for Sunday's AFL match at Subiaco.

Brogan's one-match suspension for rough conduct throws forward the Power's succession planning for life after one or both of he and Brendon Lade.

Youngster Jon Giles and tall defender Toby Thurstans loom as contenders for Brogan's spot, but when confronted by Cox, the league's most accomplished follower, Port will take a pragmatic approach to clearance work.

"That (playing for Cox taps) could be the case, we'll probably come up with a couple of different scenarios when Cox is in the ruck and what we do," Power centreman Shaun Burgoyne said on Wednesday.

"The coaching staff will definitely come up with a game plan for us to get around that scenario and we'll have two or three meetings before the game to nut it out.

"I'm not sure if we'll go tall or small, but Cox is a great player and we need to nullify his influence on the game."

Lade and Burgoyne have been among the AFL's most predatory ruck/rover tandems in recent years, but Lade's advancing years have robbed him of some spring and running power, meaning he will be unlikely to shoulder the burden of Cox on his own.

Port's ruck division has become as much of a headache as a strength over the past 12 months as Lade and Brogan have grown older without any stand-out tyros emerging to replace them.

Fabian Deluca was given four years on the list before being cut at the end of 2008 and Giles and Matthew Lobbe now carry the hopes of the coaching staff.

Senior coach Mark Williams admitted preseason he hoped none of the list's greener big men "play too many games" in 2009.

"We've got a lot of young ruckmen," he said.

"Everyone gets very anxious about ruckmen, but the fact is you have to be very, very patient with them, they take a long time, and we've got some brilliant role models, from Matty Primus to Lade and Brogan, who are very open and generous with their knowledge and support to young people, and they'll come through.

"We hope they don't play too many games this year, but if they do they do, and we'll be okay."

It is a weekend of milestones for the Power, with Thurstans to reach 100 games if selected, alongside Chad Cornes (200), Burgoyne (150) and Brett Ebert (100).

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