AFL Rd 16 - Adelaide v Port Adelaide
AFL Rd 16 - Adelaide v Port Adelaide

Lions present ultimate test for Jekyll and Hyde Power

Port Adelaide must bring 'elite pressure' against rampaging Brisbane to end its topsy-turvy form-line, says star full back Tom Clurey.

Fresh from a 57-point thumping of bitter rival Adelaide in Showdown 47, the Power has earned a reputation as the AFL's Jekyll and Hyde outfit.

But Clurey says that can end by bringing "intense heat'' to the contest against the Lions, which he says is the key to his team shaking its frustrating "inconsistent'' tag.

Port Adelaide defender Tom Clurey at a coaching clinic junior club members on Monday. Picture SARAH REED
Port Adelaide defender Tom Clurey at a coaching clinic junior club members on Monday. Picture SARAH REED

"We were happy with our performance (against the Crows) but we're already looking forward to next week,'' he said.

"We need to bring the same brand of footy and rock up with our best defensive game because our offence builds from our defence across the whole field. If we can do that we'll be all right.''

Clurey said seventh-ranked Port had shown that its best football is good enough to beat any team - evidenced by an 11-point win against ladder leader Geelong in round 14 and a 10-goal thumping of Adelaide last Saturday when it produced some scintillating play.

But it can also lose to anyone, with costly defeats to bottom-eight clubs Hawthorn, Fremantle and the Western Bulldogs in the past six weeks.

Since losing consecutive games to Collingwood and the Crows in rounds seven and eight, the Power has endured a rollercoaster ride, following a win (four) with a loss (three).

So which Port shows up against the in-form Lions is anyone's guess.

"It's about consistency with our effort,'' said Clurey.

"We have shown we can beat anyone but we need to keep winning now. When we produce elite pressure we are hard to stop, so that's what we'll be trying to do again this week.''

Tom Clurey of the Power outmarks Taylor Walker of the Crows on Saturday. Picture: James Elsby/AFL Photos via Getty Images
Tom Clurey of the Power outmarks Taylor Walker of the Crows on Saturday. Picture: James Elsby/AFL Photos via Getty Images

The match of fourth (Brisbane) versus seventh will go a long way towards determining whether the Power is premiership contender or pretender.

Ruck coach Dean Brogan said after Port's stunning Showdown win that "the top four isn't out of our reach''.

But to be taken seriously it needs to start stringing wins together.

Senior coach Ken Hinkley has expressed his frustration at his team's inconsistency and said it is determined to back up its dominant Showdown performance against Brisbane.

After being stunningly upset at home by the Bulldogs in round 15, he slammed his side for being "untrustworthy, unreliable and inconsistent".

But he said his playing group is better that it is sometimes is given credit for.

"They know what they're trying to achieve and they work really hard. We've trained incredibly well for a long period of this year and worked incredibly hard to become better as players and coaches," Hinkley said.

"We have some ups and downs, we get it, no one gets more frustrated than the boys themselves.''

The statistics show Port's results are largely determined by the performances of its midfield and dominating the stoppage and territory battle.

It has a +16:13 time in forward half advantage and +16.0 scores from stoppages in its eight victories this season.

But to record back-to-back wins for the first time since rounds five and six when it triumphed against premier West Coast and North Melbourne, the Power will need to shut down the free-scoring Lions.

 

 

 

 

 

In beating GWS on the road on Sunday by 20 points, Brisbane scored more than 90 points for the ninth time this season.

Averaging 90.7 points a game, only Geelong (93.3) and the Giants (91.8) are scoring more.

Clurey, whose side is averaging 82.8 points a game but conceding a miserly 75.1, is enjoying a standout year, having kept Cat Tom Hawkins, North Melbourne's Ben Brown, West Coast's Jack Darling, St Kilda's Josh Bruce and the Bulldogs' Aaron Naughton goalless in head-to-head match-ups.

"I'm definitely feeling good about my game but I think I can still go to another level,'' Clurey said.

News Corp Australia


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