Power’s plan to stifle Eagles’ interceptors
PORT Adelaide have recalled mobile tall forward Todd Marshall to replace out-of-form wingman Steven Motlop for the Power's match against West Coast in Perth on Good Friday.
Coach Ken Hinkley called Marshall's form in the SANFL as good as he'd seen and made the switch in a bid to stop the opposition's intercept marking, which hurt the Power in their close losses to Brisbane and Richmond.
Hinkley said the key thing for Marshall to stay in the side was to develop more consistency and stay in games longer.
"I think we saw last week that we had some issues, particularly in the last quarter, where we weren't able to get the ball to ground as well as we'd like," Hinkley said.
"Todd certainly comes in and gives us a bit more height in that area and gives us a bit more aerial assistance.
"His whole game last week was really strong, at SANFL level you don't get much better games for a tall forward than what Todd was delivering last week.
"His speed to collect the ball, his speed to get up the ground to help defend the ball and his speed back to goal to hit the scoreboard and assist other people hit the scoreboard … even though he kicked 4.2 he was involved in other opportunities that we scored from."
Hinkley said the decision to drop Motlop was a logical one, with players such as Marshall, Aidyn Johnson, Sam Mayes and Jarrod Lienert queuing up for senior selection with strong performances in the reserves.
It was a chance for Motlop to bring his game up to scratch before his magnet returns to the whiteboard on selection night.
The Power haven't had much luck at the new Perth Stadium, losing both of their matches there last season.
But Hinkley was looking forward to the test against the Eagles, which he considers the benchmark of the competition again this year after winning the flag last year.
"Unfortunately we got a good lesson again last week in te last quarter what it means to get the ball to ground," Hinkley said. "And we're coming up against probably the best intercept team in the competition this week.
"Hopefully we can go out there and make sure the West Coast boys don't dominate the ball in the air."
It is expected to be wet, with showers and storm and 15-25mm expected in Perth.
But Hinkley said the weather had not influenced his selection, with both sides expected to play reasonably tall line-ups.
"West Coast is a big side too," Hinkley said. "They've got plenty of talls in their side too.
"Height and weather don't necessarily have to go in hand, especially for us, with blokes like Todd (Marshall) and (Justin) Westhoff who are pretty good running players, pretty good ground level players."