15th Apr 2012
Norwood withstands Port Adelaide's strong challenge
Port Adelaide endured a disappointing loss to Norwood on Sunday afternoon, going down by 41 points at Alberton Oval.
The Magpies found themselves in trouble early with the Redlegs off to a flying start having kicked three unanswered goals within the first six minutes of play.
Despite tackling hard and dominating the hit-outs, Port Adelaide was unable to overcome Norwood, and found themselves 28 points down at quarter time.
The second term saw Port Adelaide lift its intensity and start to match Norwood in all aspects of the match - continuing to control the hit-outs - and dictating the general play.
Despite the improved intensity, the Magpies still trailed the Redlegs by 22 points at the main break.
The momentum swung Port Adelaide’s way in the third term through the hard work of Biacsi, Wilson and Summerton who led the fight back and helped Port claw the lead back to only 7 points after Brett Ebert marked strongly and scored a confidence-boosting goal going into the final term.
Despite Port Adelaide’s third term scoreboard pressure, the Redlegs proved too good for the Magpies, who had no answer to their rival’s final charge - Norwood scoring five unanswered goals in the final quarter.
Senior Coach Tony Bamford conceded that fatigue and some contentious decisions cost the black and white in the end.
“The energy and intensity of the second and third quarter was high and probably dropped off in the last quarter because we had to work so hard to get back within seven points – we just ran out of legs,” he said.
“We were getting guys onto the bench that weren’t making an impact and we were asking those that were to stay out there when they were spent – that cost us,” he said.
The Magpies were left without Mitch Banner in the final term after he went down with a knee injury.
Despite the loss, Bamford believes there are positives to be taken out of this week’s match, with some key players really making a statement.
“Kory Beard was outstanding today, Justin Hoskin did well in the backlines and Zane Kirkwood is in career best form at the moment. He just puts in so much work – it isn’t pretty sometimes but just as effective.
“Shayne Biacsi also played really well – to play wing the whole game with no rotation is a testament to his fitness,” he said.
Bamford was also pleased with the ability of the players to match Norwood in all aspects of the game except for on the scoreboard and in the stoppages.
“We beat them in the hit-outs by a mile, it’s just the stoppages that hurt us,” said Bamford.
Port Adelaide will now focus on next week’s clash with Central Districts, which will be played at Alberton Oval on Saturday afternoon.
“It’s good we have another chance to play again here at home next week because we don’t want to play like that at home.
“The job for us now is to recover and come up with a plan to face Central here next week and make sure the slow start doesn’t happen again.”
Port Adelaide: 11.12 (79) def. by
Norwood 18.11 (119)
BEST: Kirkwood, Gray, Young, Beard, Biacsi, Summerton
GOALS: Biacsi, Summerton, Young, 2, Banner, Clayton, Cockshell, Ebert Wilson.
INJURIES: Banner (knee), Thurgood (ankle)