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Port lose defender Stewart

By Steve Larkin 07/08/2010 12:09:57 PM Comments (0)

Port Adelaide have lost nullifying defender Paul Stewart for Sunday's AFL match against St Kilda.

Stewart has failed to overcome a hip injury and has been replaced in the Power side by forward Mitch Banner.

Port coach Matthew Primus said the loss of Stewart was a blow, having earmarked him for a negating role on one of St Kilda's small goalsneaks, Stephen Milne or Adam Schneider.

"He hurt himself the last five minutes on Thursday at training and we thought the hip had come up okay, but it was still sore this morning," Primus said on Saturday.

"He would have had an important job this week because the Saints have got some pretty good small forwards and he's one of our smaller backs.

"And we're pretty inexperienced down back, and at least he's played a couple of seasons down there, so it's disappointing." Primus' chargers enter the Etihad Stadium encounter with consecutive wins, against hometown rival Adelaide and finals bound Hawthorn.

And the caretaker coach, who has been in charge for three games since Mark Williams' departure, has gone to school on Essendon's victory over the Saints last weekend.

"We do have a bit of run in our team but, number one, Essendon were able to beat them in the contested ball," Primus said.

"And if you are able to do that against the Saints it gives you an opportunity to play that way, if you don't, you get caught in a bit of a brawl against them.

"Hopefully we can bring the intensity we have in the last few weeks and guys can generate enough ball inside 50m to kick a score.

"Like every team, we want to get it in there quickly but it relies on how much ball you can win through the midfield and how many times you can win a stoppage.

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