Port Adelaide smash Crows by 19 points - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Port Adelaide smash Crows by 19 points

By Steve Larkin 25/07/2010 09:16:49 PM Comments (0)

Adelaide coach Neil Craig questioned the hardness of his players after arch rival Port Adelaide dealt the Crows' AFL finals hopes a killer blow.

The Crows butchered a series of gilt-edged goal chances which proved fatal in a 19 point loss on Sunday to the Power, who emphatically snapped their club-record losing streak.

Port had lost nine in a row entering the grudge match, but delivered caretaker coach Matthew Primus a stirring first win, 13.10 (88) to Adelaide's 9.15 (69).

Adelaide effectively kicked themselves out of the finals race with woeful goalkicking, the Crows now perched two wins and a large whack of percentage outside the top eight.

"Two games out with five to play, that is a lot of ground to make up," Craig said.

"We can blame only one group of people for that: that is ourselves."

The Crows had more scoring shots than Port, more entries into their attacking 50-metre zone, but were remarkably wasteful in front of goal.

Adelaide recorded 4.8 and two out of bounds on the full from their set shots, while Port sealed a sixth win of the season with a return of 10.1 from their set shots.

"Our set shots ... that is all about a hardness factor," Craig said.

"We talk about hardness in footy, about contested ball and hard runnning and that is all part of it - but being able to finish is a hardness as well.

"We have been reasonable at that in the past but we were poor tonight.

"Who knows why it happens."

The basic blunders delivered Adelaide a paltry 1.9 from early in the first quarter to halftime, a period which proved decisive in a demise Craig said left a "nasty taste".

"To get to where we want to go, we have to take our opportunities, whether that is kicking the goal or winning a game that is an important game for you - they are all opportunities and on both of those accounts we weren't good enough to do it," he said.

Port's victory was punctuated by inspiring feats by Justin Westhoff, who kicked a game high four goals, captain Dom Cassisi (28 disposals, 12 tackles) and Kane Cornes, who nullified Adelaide's prime mover Bernie Vince while gathering 28 possessions himself.

With Dean Brogan ruling the rucks, the Power made Adelaide pay the ultimate price for their inaccuracy.

But Primus, who now has one win and one loss since taking over from Mark Williams as coach, maintained there was no extra significance for likely ending their bitter rival's finals prospects.

"Not at all, we haven't even focussed on the opposition, of where they are on the ladder or anything," Primus said.

"When you have had the nine weeks we have had, you are really just worried about what you can do to get out of it and we didn't focus on them at all.

"It was all about trying to get a win for the Port Adelaide Football Club and giving a bit of hope."

The Power host Hawthorn next Saturday while the Crows travel to meet Richmond at the MCG next Sunday with Craig hopeful his captain Simon Goodwin will be available.

Goodwin missed Sunday's showdown with an ankle injury which Craig said would not prematurely end his career - the Crows skipper has announced he will retire at season's end.

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