Port not keen on favouritism over Cats - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Port not keen on favouritism over Cats

By Daniel Brettig 16/05/2009 01:49:44 PM Comments (0)

Port Adelaide have run away from the notion of favouritism ahead of their Sunday AFL meeting with Richmond in what amounts to their latest effort to shrug off a crippling inconsistency.

Ruckman Dean Brogan and coach Mark Williams went to great lengths to talk up the merits of the Tigers, who with one win from seven games are alongside Melbourne at the bottom of the ladder.

Port are currently fourth, but only one win removed from 13th.

Williams' future may be shrouded in some doubt, but his counterpart Terry Wallace is as good as sacked according to many close to Tigerland.

That did not stop the Power from attempting to build up their opponents into the sort of challenge they have handled well this year, beating Hawthorn and Adelaide when not favoured to do so.

History helped Williams on this front, given the fact that Port's four-point loss to Richmond in mid-2008 was the result that caused him to unceremoniously end the Power's season by declaring an early close to their finals aspirations.

"The only thing we take out of (last year's game) is they are capable of beating us if we don't play as well as we can and that's all we are taking out of it," Williams said.

Brogan's words seemed as much about revving himself up for the contest as they were an accurate reflection of the Tigers' not inconsiderable returns in numerous statistical categories such as clearances, an area where Port have been positively schizophrenic so far.

Williams said it was up to each player to decide how best to prepare their minds.

"People will pick and choose what they read in the papers, hear in the media or take from the coaches - whatever gets them up to play, whatever turns them on, great," he said.

"If they want to be underdogs, so be it."

As for which Port would turn up on Sunday, Williams was unsure, as ever.

"Each week you ask me the same question," he said.

"How would you know? All you can do is prepare well.

"This competition is so close.

"Richmond has brought good players back into their side and a few weeks ago they beat North by six goals and we lost to them so we are expecting a difficult contest."

Kane Cornes' remarkable recovery means Port have made only one change from the team that lost to North Melbourne, with youngster Hamish Hartlett replacing Steve Salopek (dislocated shoulder).

Richmond have made five useful inclusions, including those of rising star Trent Cotchin and veteran left-footer Nathan Brown.

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