Kicking efficiency hurting the Power
Port Adelaide’s season started with hope, but it has quickly turned into a concerning situation in which the blow torch is firmly on the players and coach alike after a run of dismal performances.
Port Adelaide’s run to a near miss in the 2014 Preliminary Final saw them become one of the more exciting and damaging clubs within the competition and their run, carry and precision kicking on the rebound was a game plan to behold and not only produced results but gave the sense they were building something special for future seasons. All attributes sorely missing in this campaign.
Something is not right at Alberton and with their humiliating loss to a young and inconsistent GWS side on Sunday afternoon by the tune of 86 points, much is to be fixed to stop the rot and attempt to bring back some form of consistency and structure to a playing group feeling the heat and failing to fire.
A concerning statistic is that Port Adelaide is currently sitting in the lower doldrums of the competition for kicking efficiency, sitting at 70.3%. This must be of a high concern for a Port side relying on their direct play and use of the corridor to create scoring opportunities. Port have also lacked the ability to revert to their defensive structures when they turn the ball over and they get hurt on the rebound with alarming effect. Poise and confidence under pressure have seemingly deserted a Port side so used to being clean and clever in tight situations.
For a club with undeniable talent across the ground and with what was supposed to be one of the more promising midfield units in the competition, Port’s leaders and midfield stalwarts are failing to produce the efforts required in heavy traffic to make an impact and the kicking prowess needed to not only be premiership contenders, but to make the finals altogether.
As well as a lack of kicking efficiency, losses against the Crows and GWS have highlighted Port Adelaide’s lack of ability to handle and dispose of the ball under pressure. Too often they have reverted to the handball when placed under any sort of pressure and placing their team mates in perilous situations in a contest instead of making calculated and percentage plays.
For Port Adelaide to go back to their winning ways they must revert back to basics and place a greater onus on creating more of an awareness within the club in terms of each player taking responsibility when they are in possession of the football and making smarter decisions.
An average kicking efficiency within a club of 70.3% will never cut the mustard when teams, more often than not, capitalise on the rebound and can use the corridor to attack with ease. Port have a solid list and can certainly rebound from their patchy start to season 2016, but if they cannot improve their kicking efficiency, pressure football and for the club to work in unison to achieve results, another disappointing season looms at Alberton.