Port's Pearce looks for consistent form - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Port's Pearce looks for consistent form

By Daniel Brettig 28/04/2009 04:49:43 PM Comments (0)

As AFL barometers go, Danyle Pearce is Port Adelaide's most accurate.

When Port win, Pearce is seldom far from the best players, using his scything left foot and searing pace to great advantage, as seen against Essendon, Melbourne and Hawthorn.

When the Power have a tough day he tends to disappear, as evidenced by his meagre 25 disposals and two tackles in the losses to West Coast and St Kilda.

Part of the reason for this lies in Pearce's standing as a damaging outside player, who relies on others to win the hard ball for him to receive then run, carry and finish with that left boot.

But Pearce accepts he must find a way to slog out better performances when things are not going his way, and so help Port break out of the habit of winning well or losing terribly.

"Yeah it's gone up and down, I want to get a nice, consistent basis and I'm still working on that every week," Pearce said on Tuesday.

"You go out every week and there's little battles within the big battle and sometimes you win and sometimes you don't - I need to make sure I get on the winning end more than the losing end.

"The two losses we've had this year, the way we play and the way we wanted to go out and play just wasn't there.

"We're a battling side, we finished 13th last year and we've got to have every player coming out each gameday and if we don't have that we won't win."

Part of the problem for the Power is an imbalance between toughness and "headhunting" as Pearce called it; the cheap shots and ill-discipline that have seen seven Port players examined by the league's match review panel this season.

The genuinely tough things, meanwhile, like voracious tackling and putting one's head over the ball, tend to wax and wane.

"You've got to find that real fine balance," said Pearce.

"Every team wants to come out and be hard and tough, you have a few incidences where you just might step over the line so you really have to be fine tuned with what you do.

"If you're going to go out headhunting you're going to be found out and you'll get reported but if you just go out and your main objective is the ball then you can be a tough player and you won't be reported.

"Tough covers a lot of things, you want to tackle, you want to put your head over the ball, go back with the flight of it, and tackling's just another part of being tough."

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