K rock Football

Dee-saster for Port

Dejected Portarlington players leave the ground following the loss to Newcomb. (krockfootball.com.au/Al Packer)

HAVING stripped the walls of the visitors change rooms bare at Grinter Reserve in the moments following Portarlington’s 16-point loss to Newcomb – the Power’s first win since Round, 10 2013 – with a vocal tirade, Demons coach Jesse Smith politely declined to speak with the waiting media.

That task was left to football manager Mark Tilders, who said Smith paid credit to the Power for their effort.

“We can sit there and talk about injuries and all those things that have happened to our football club, but Newcomb showed us today exactly what we need to do to win games of football,” he said.

“To have the talent out on the park and lose is disappointing, so Jesse’s message was that we’ve got to do the small things right … and if we can look after that, then hopefully the results come our way.”


Meanwhile, in a further blow for Portarlington, star off-season acquisition Guy O’Keefe’s season appears over.

The Mathieson Medallist hasn’t played since being injured in the loss to Drysdale on ANZAC Day.

“He’s got a back injury that’s turned into a nasty hamstring injury,” Tilders said.

“He’s a scaffolder, so he finds it very difficult to get rehab into his back and therefore his hamstrings.

“It will be unlikely we’ll see Guy again this year, but we’re chatting each week and, hopefully, if he rocks up to training one night and we get a bit of match fitness into him, we’ll see how we go from there.

“It’s week-by-week for Guy at the moment.”

A positive was the return of Smith who returned from injury for his first game since Round 5.

“His leadership out there was awesome,” Tilder said. “He kicked three goals, won lots of contested possessions that people don’t notice.

“Jesse was the least of our problems out there today.”

Twitter: @tom_king79

  • 126