Port's Ebert, Rodan put on notice - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Port's Ebert, Rodan put on notice

By Daniel Brettig 01/05/2009 06:14:29 PM Comments (0)

A day after dumping showdown specialist Josh Carr, Port Adelaide coach Mark Williams warned Brett Ebert and David Rodan to produce their best on Saturday night against Adelaide or be the next established players to face the chop.

Williams rejected the romance of playing Carr against the Crows, given a perfect 8-0 record in the showdowns he played between 2000 and 2004, choosing instead to recall Matt Thomas, a similarly hard nut who has also made an impression on Adelaide.

His crunching tackle on Trent Hentschel in 2006 caused a knee injury that kept the forward out of AFL circles for two years, and a slinging effort on Nathan Bassett last year left the now retired defender motionless on the turf.

"There's a bit of romance about (Carr) but ... Matt Thomas is coming back into the side and plays very similarly to Josh Carr and right now Matt Thomas is playing better than Josh Carr so that was the start and the finish of it," Williams said on Friday.

"He took it as well as he could, he's disappointed and it's not an easy thing, we have a great relationship and great trust from a long time ago.

"But his form hasn't been good enough and everyone's aware that if that's the case you won't be playing."

Ebert and Rodan, meanwhile, have had decidedly mixed starts to 2009, Ebert struggling in all games apart from a strong effort against Hawthorn, while Rodan has already been dropped once this year and would not be playing right now if Shaun Burgoyne (knee) was fit enough to take his spot.

Asked what he thought of Ebert's form, Williams replied: "Average, very average.

"You need to kick goals as a forward, you need to be involved with holding the ball in and really active in tackling and chasing and sometimes he drops away in those areas.

"Against Melbourne he dropped about six or seven marks, which I've never seen him do that and that's got a bit to do with confidence."

"He played particularly well against Hawthorn so you understand there's some goods and bads in amongst it, but the consistency is important.

"I'm sure he's looking forward to this game."

As for Rodan, the spectre of an extended spell with Norwood in the SAFL does not seem far away.

"If Shaun Burgoyne was playing David wouldn't be in the side, he knows that. His form is certainly under the microscope and he's on the edge," Williams said.

"You hardly ever get out on one game, it's a string of events and circumstances of who else is coming back and available, and one or two players are lucky to be in."

Over in the West, Fremantle captain Matthew Pavlich has been taking fire for the poor fortunes of his side this season, but will mark the game against West Coast on Saturday with his 200th appearance as a Docker.

"Milestones are important and significant, none more so than this with Pavlich," said his coach, Mark Harvey.

"He's a guy that's probably a legend of this football club so you draw upon a few things when you go into a game like this."

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