Port Adelaide has endured their first loss of the season being beaten by Sturt at Commander Centre Oval on Saturday afternoon.
The Magpies encountered an unrelenting Sturt outfit and were caught off-guard early - conceding six goals in the opening quarter to give a 25 point lead to the home side.
Despite Sturt’s early dominance, the Magpies responded with a higher work-rate in the second term to kick five goals to one and take a one point lead into the main break.
After half time it was a see-sawing affair with neither team able to assert their dominance on the match. The lead changed three times in the final quarter yet whenever Port Adelaide lifted their intensity, Sturt responded and eventually ran out seven point victors.
Senior coach Tony Bamford conceded that the Magpies did not compete at a high enough intensity across all four quarters and were beaten by Sturt in several aspects of the game.
“In the first quarter we were nowhere near it,” he said.
“Sturt turned up to play and we were a bit reactive early.”
“Their set ups, intensity, ball use, energy and everything in the first quarter made us look second rate.”
“You can’t start like that and expect to win.”
Despite the loss, there were some positive signs for the Magpies having 10 different goal scorers throughout the game and remaining competitive after being well-beaten early. Bamford said there were some encouraging aspects to come out of the game and was happy with the group’s resilience.
“After quarter time we won the game and we were able to turn the tide when things weren’t going our way so that says a fair bit about the group,” he said.
Port Adelaide now has a week to overcome its loss and prepare for their encounter with Subiaco in the first round of the Foxtel Cup at AAMI Stadium. Bamford insists that there will be no change in the way that his group will approach the game regardless of the Magpies’ latest performance.
“We’ve always been planning since day one that this week would be a lighter week on the track so we won’t change that now,” he said.
“We will lighten the load and let some of the senior players have a few sessions off so we can freshen up and then look forward to a fortnight’s time [next SANFL game].”
Port Adelaide 15.13 (103) def. by Sturt 17.8 (110)