Sunday Territorian 7 Mar 2021
Sunday Territorian; NewspaperNT
Community newspapers -- Northern Territory -- Darwin.; Australian newspapers -- Northern Territory -- Darwin.
News Corp Australia
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News Corp Australia
50 SPORT SUNDAY MARCH 7 2021 NTNE01Z01MA - V1 Magpie Jordan De Goey. Picture: Michael Willson/AFL Photos via Getty Images RICHMOND will kick off its quest for a third successive premiership tilt with a near full-strength side, declaring Tom Lynch and Dion Prestia certain starters for Thursday weeks Round 1 MCG clash with an injury-hit Carlton. But Collingwood is sweating on the fitness of star midfielder Steele Sidebottom, who underwent scans on his calf yesterday. Sidebottom aggravated his calf in the opening minutes of Friday nights AAMI Community Series clash with Richmond, but said he was hopeful he hadnt torn the muscle. He has less than a fortnight until the Magpies season-opener against Western Bulldogs at the MCG on March 19. Will Kellys bad luck continued on Friday when he broke his collarbone. He was taken to hospital for surgery and faces a stint on the sidelines. Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley said Jordan De Goey (knock to his knee) and Brayden Maynard (shin) were fine, while Taylor Adams will be given every chance to overcome his hamstring issues to take on the Bulldogs. He (Adams) got through the session really well on Tuesday and he will have a full two-week program into Round 1 and should be right to go, Buckley said. Brody Mihocek, who knocked his calf in last weeks practice match with Geelong, is recovering well and should be ready for the Dogs clash. Hardwick said Lynch (toe) and Prestia (hamstring) could have played against the Magpies on Friday. The Tigers eased key players Dustin Martin, Trent Cotchin, Dylan Grimes and Toby Nankervis out of the preseason game at three-quartertime to keep them fresh. GLENN MCFARLANE TIGERS IN SHAPE FOR AFL OPENER MEAD HANDED SPOT IN POWERS SENIOR SQUAD FOR SHOWDOWN AGAINST CROWS SON of a gun Jackson Mead will play in Port Adelaides senior side for the first time, while Power assistant Jarrad Schofield says surgery remains the last resort for how the club will manage Connor Rozee. Mead, the son of the inaugural Power best and fairest winner and three-time Magpies premiership player Darren Mead, will be part of Port Adelaides squad to take on Adelaide in Sundays Community Series match at Noarlunga. The father-son pick will be joined in Ports 26-man squad by captain Tom Jonas and star Robbie Gray after they sat out last weeks trial game at Alberton against the Crows. Schofield said Mead would at least get a half to showcase his talent, after battling hamstring issues and having to deal with no SANFL footy last year. He is strong at the contest like his dad, he said. Not as big as Darren but he is strong in the midfield, very clean inside and very contest orientated. Uses both sides of his body well, also. He was someone who has missed a lot of footy last year through COVID but also had a hamstring injury that he needed to battle through so an unfortunate year for him but I think it built resilience. After the big win over the Crows last week, Power defensive coach Brett Montgomery said every player on Ports list had been challenged to learn a secondary role for 2021 with quarters back to full lengths and interchange rotations down. Schofield said Mead had responded well to the challenge. His vision and awareness in traffic stands out and he is one like all of our players not just in the midfield they have to have a secondary position and he has really worked on his craft to play as a high for ward, he said. So thats why his fitness base was a real focus for him in the pre-season as well, so now he is not just a purely inside mid. Mead, Jonas and Gray will come in for Hamish Hartlett, who has hamstring soreness, Trent McKenzie after he suffered a corky and Todd Marshall who received a cheek contusion in the trial last week. (through the corridor) which has opened up with the man on the mark, so well see how the rest of the games go and well assess over the weekend. I think sides are probably a little bit more offensive-based at the start of the year anyway. The running capacity of players (has) certainly improved. Whether they can sustain it for 22 weeks, plus finals, will be something well have to wait and see. The Tigers got through the final hitout before their Round 1 clash with Carlton unscathed, with Hardwick choosing to rest Dustin Martin, Trent Cotchin and Toby Nankervis late in the game, conceding the more time you have them out there, the scarier it gets. Collingwood suffered two key injuries a broken collarbone to young forward Will Kelly, which will sideline him, and a tight calf for star midfielder Steele Sidebottom that will see him in a race against time to take on the Western Bulldogs in Round 1. RICHMOND coach Damien Hardwick says AFL football already looks a different game in 2021 after a sample of lowpressure, high-disposal AAMI Community Series matches. Hardwicks assessment came as his Collingwood counterpart Nathan Buckley was concerned about how the rules changes could impact on players fatigue levels. Both said the AFLs decision to cut interchange rotations from 90 per game to 75 while returning the game to the pre-COVID 20-minutesper-quarter as well as the tweak to the man on the mark rule appears to have had an impact on the games look. While both concede their views come off a small sample base their clash on Friday as well as Thursdays Carlton-St Kilda game they believed it would take some time for clubs and players to adapt. Its a different game, Hardwick said after the Tigers six-point win. We took 120 uncontested marks and thats normally a two-game total for us. So its a different look and well do a little bit of work on that and see if thats something we have to work our way through. Its just different. The ball moves a lot freer, sides are trying to use that 45-kick GLENN MCFARLANE Coaches waiting game on changes Concerns for players Steele Sidebottom.
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