Wor­ried Port Ade­laide turns clock back to when it last played with­out Paddy

Geelong Advertiser - - SPORT - JES­PER FJELDSTAD

PORT Ade­laide will study the tapes from 2016 to learn how to play with­out a recog­nised ruck­man as the Power seeks a quick re­sponse from the Essendon loss when fac­ing Gee­long at Ade­laide Oval on Satur­day night.

And mul­ti­ple club cham­pion Rob­bie Gray is con­fi­dent mid­fielder Sam Pow­ell-Pep­per will bring a boost to the mid­field af­ter serv­ing a one-week sus­pen­sion.

The Power has been hit with the un­com­fort­able news that there is no clear time­line on ruck­man Paddy Ry­der’s re­turn — he is strug­gling with achilles ten­dini­tis — but Gray said the club had coped be­fore and needed to re­visit those times.

Ry­der was out for all of 2016 when he was banned be­cause of the Essendon sup­ple­ments scan­dal and Port Ade­laide found a way to be com­pet­i­tive with­out its key ruck­man back then.

“Ide­ally, Paddy would be out there but we went through that a few years ago (in 2016) when he had a year off so we got used to things then, with­out a big ruck­man like him,” Gray said. “We think it’s go­ing OK. The num­bers stacked up OK on the week­end; we just didn’t stand up under pres­sure as much as we would have liked.

“To Essendon’s credit they put an enor­mous amount of pres­sure on us and we coughed the footy up a bit.

“We cer­tainly re­fer back to it. You have to change some things — Paddy had a su­per year last year, so you change some things. It’s a mas­sive game for us. We just want to re­spond af­ter the dis­ap­point­ing per­for­mance on the week­end.

“Gee­long is a su­per team and have been for a long time so it’s go­ing to be a good chal­lenge.”

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