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SANFL preview: Round 4 vs Sturt

PORT ADELAIDE SANFL coach Matthew Lokan says it won’t be hard to motivate his side for Wednesday’s ANZAC Day grand final rematch against Sturt given the enormity of the occasion.

The undefeated Magpies will come up against a Sturt side smarting after a narrow loss to North Adelaide.

The reigning back-to-back Premiers lost by three-points at their home ground at Unley, ending a nine-game winning streak against the Roosters.

Lokan expected his side would face a tough contest on Wednesday as the Double Blues try to bounce back.

“They’re a super side, to be able to win two premierships in a row shows that,” Lokan said

“Their midfield is, I think, where most of their games are won and to be able to have two dominant ruckmen and guys like Kirkwood and Battersby playing in your midfield and Aiden Riley who’ll play this week, they’re a super side and we know we’re in for a tough contest on Wednesday.”

Lokan is having to deal with a mid-week match which presents selection difficulties because of the challenge of having AFL-listed players who either played last Saturday for the Power or may be required this Saturday.

While he was at Glenelg last season and is coaching a Port Adelaide side vastly different to the one which endured last year’s heart breaking one-point grand final loss to Sturt, Lokan was confident there would be plenty of motivation, other than getting one back.

“It’s a really special day on the Australian calendar both from a national point of view and from a football club point of view and the boys are really excited and I am as well, to be able to play on ANZAC Day and to be able to play at Peter Motley Oval in a grand final rematch against Sturt is pretty exciting too,” he said.

“I think the boys will talk about it a little bit but I think ANZAC Day is special enough and to be able to play Sturt on that day in a grand final rematch does add a little bit of added motivation to our guys.

“We’ve been really solid in our start with two wins and a draw so I think continuing that is enough motivation for us.”

Sturt coach Martin Mattner said playing on ANZAC Day had significance for his side as well.

“We talk about the sacrifice that everyone’s made in the past and last year we didn’t get a win but it was a good experience,” he said.

“We weren’t great against North Adelaide last week but we’ve had a week and a half to work on a few things, and defence was probably one of those things.”

Mattner said he was not sure who he would see line up for the Magpies given the selection dilemma facing Lokan, but he was confident it would be a strong side.

“They’ve got some guys playing some good footy at the moment and we know if they play how they’ve been playing and we play how we’ve been playing it’s going to be a great game and like the finals, it’s going to be a close game,” Mattner said.

“Last year the finals were both really tight hard-fought games and hopefully this week just adds another page to that history.”

The best on ground during the match will be awarded the Bob Quinn Medal, named in honour of Port Adelaide club great and Military Medal recipient Robert (Bob) Berrima Quinn.

Quinn won two Magarey Medals, four best and fairests and three premierships either side of military service, where he was awarded the Military Medal for courage, leadership and devotion at the Siege of Tobruk.

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