Port need to play games out: Williams
Port Adelaide coach Mark Williams has been pleased with his side’s pre-season campaign, but admits his players learned a lesson in needing to play out an entire game.
The Power won their opening two games of the knock-out competition but were pipped by the Western Bulldogs in Friday night’s semi-final at Etihad Stadium, as the Doggies scored late to win by three points.
The Bulldogs won 1.11.17 (92) to 1.12.8 (89).
Williams said the late goals the Bulldogs kicked were pivotal in the result, as Barry Hall goaled after the half-time siren and just before three-quarter time, and he marked late in the game and hand-passed to Brian Lake, who booted the winner.
“I’m pretty proud of the players for the way they conducted themselves for most of the night,” Williams said.
“We were still in front with 90 seconds or whatever to go against a terrific side that’s very experienced and very much pushing towards the top of the table.
“That was good for us to be able to hang in there.”
“There were a couple of times where they started to get a bit of impetus but we restricted their scoreboard pressure, which was pretty good.
“But they kicked three goals almost after the siren and that was great on their behalf, but talking to our players, you have to play the quarters right out and not be satisfied with how things are going 10 second before the end of the quarters.”
Williams said his priority in next week’s practice game was to get Daniel Motlop back into the forward line after a recent suspension, and hopefully have ex-Tiger Jay Schulz in attack.
Schulz did not play the Bulldogs because of a family bereavement.
Port will also have to consider a replacement for key defender Troy Chaplin, who is unavailable in round one of the season proper through suspension.
“We have to give some good game time to those who we think will be playing (in round one) and try and work through selection to try and get it right,” Williams said.© AAP 2013
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