Tough early draw raises eyebrows at Port - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Tough early draw raises eyebrows at Port

By Daniel Brettig 02/04/2010 06:09:27 PM Comments (0)

Port Adelaide coach Mark Williams has raised an eyebrow over the AFL draw as his team seeks the consistency that has eluded them for some years.

The Power flew to Perth on Good Friday ahead of a round two meeting with West Coast on Saturday while their next opponents Brisbane were putting their feet up after beating Carlton in a second consecutive home game on Thursday.

Williams noted that quirks of the draw such as this - which influenced Port to rule out Daniel Motlop and Robbie Gray from making their returns from injury - made consistent results more difficult to achieve.

"The whole draw is always a little interesting, I see Brisbane play two in a row at home then they have a long break and we come back from Perth," Williams said.

"There's a lot of things that happen to every club and in the end no-one really cares, you just get ready and play the next week with no complaints.

"So the consistency battle is a lot more difficult for travelling teams than it is for those that don't."

Port's centreline will again have to deal with the ruck dominance of Eagles duo Dean Cox and Nic Naitanui, something they managed successfully in a pre-season win over the Eagles.

"I think the outcome of the ruck battle will really go a long way to deciding the game," said Williams.

"We're going to anticipate that Cox and Naitanui are going to win a lot of them.

"Last time (in pre-season) we got smashed in the rucks and we won the clearances so we'd hope to do something similar.

"Dean Brogan's going to be much more competitive than last time and they've got (Daniel) Kerr and (Matt) Priddis on the ground as well as the others with a bit more knowledge that makes it more difficult for us."

Port have been able to recall key defender Troy Chaplin after a suspension kept him out of round one, and Williams noted his usefulness on the vast expanse of Subiaco.

"I think it's really important to get Troy Chaplin back into the side, we acknowledge highly that he was missed last week," he said.

"His flexibility to be able to play tall and small is vital for us and they're very difficult to find.

"He's also great aerobically, so he can stay on the ground most of the time, which means you get more opportunity to rotate other players."

The pacy David Rodan, meanwhile, made his return from LARS knee reconstruction surgery in the SANFL on Thursday night.

"Unfortunately Norwood only had 19 on the bench in the last quarter so David had to spent a little more time on than we'd hoped, but we talked about that and prepared for it," Williams said.

"If he only got 15 possessions in the SANFL it says he's still a little underdone, but from what we see in training his touch looks good so he's probably two or three more weeks away."

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