Eagles tap in to former Power guru - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Eagles tap in to former Power guru

By Justin Chadwick 04/04/2009 01:22:13 PM Comments (0)

For more than a decade Phillip Walsh poured his heart and soul into helping Port Adelaide strive for AFL success.

But after jumping ship to West Coast over the summer, the former Power assistant coach has been working overtime this week devising plans to bring down his old side in Sunday's clash at Subiaco Oval.

"We've noticed that Phil's taken the defensive zone to West Coast," Port Adelaide coach Mark Williams noted this week.

"They used to be man on man all the time but they've been zoning all through the pre-season.

"They'll be working on that and it's something we are ready for."

With Power ruckman Dean Brogan serving a one-week suspension, Port Adelaide's midfielders will be looking to shark taps from West Coast's All-Australian ruckman Dean Cox.

But Eagles assistant coach Scott Burns said his charges were prepared for such tactics.

"We'll vary it up a fair bit as much as possible," Burns said.

"There's a few things we might do differently, a bit from left field.

"They are bringing (Toby) Thurstans over (as a back-up ruckman), which is what we thought, so it's given us a bit of confidence I guess in terms of we had our fingers in the right pie so to speak in what they might bring.

"It's pretty handy having Walshy here to let us know how they are going to try to combat Coxy."

Although Brogan's absence will be sorely felt by the Power, Burns said the Eagles could ill afford to underestimate the impact of two-time All-Australian ruckman Brendon Lade.

"I still think Lade's the best tap ruckman going around," Burns said.

"Port are one of the best stoppage teams in the competition.

"It's going to be pretty tough, so we've got a few little things we are going to try and hopefully they come off.

"With all the players that go through that midfield and what they bring, if their ruckman is getting his hands on the ball it can be pretty tough at times.

"We've got to make sure we've got systems in place to stop that.

"Shaun Burgoyne's a top class player and then there's Peter (Burgoyne), Chad Cornes in close, and (David) Rodan comes up and plays in there.

"(Travis) Boak's going to be a top-class A-grade player too in a few years down the track."

While the Power's only change was to replace Brogan with Thurstans, the Eagles made four changes to the side that lost to Brisbane last week, recalling Adam Hunter, Brett Jones, Adam Selwood and Ben McKinley at the expense of Sam Butler, Matt Spangher, Brent Staker and Mark Seaby.

Williams said his team were eager to celebrate the milestones of Chad Cornes (200), Shaun Burgoyne (150), Brett Ebert (100) and Thurstans (100) with a win.

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