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Lokan impressed by work ethic of young side

A FANTASTIC 36-disposal, two-goal game from Jack Trengove wasn’t enough as Port Adelaide fell to Sturt by 25 points in front of a packed Peter Motley Oval on Wednesday afternoon.

Magpies senior coach Matthew Lokan said while it was a disappointing result on ANZAC Day, he was proud of the way his young side battled the match out.

“I thought our guys fought out the game really well but going down by 25 points wasn’t the result we were after,” Lokan told reporters on Wednesday afternoon.

“Sturt were really, really good today - their contested stuff and their mids were pivotal to the game.

“A lot of our entries into the forward were rebounded, especially by Fraser Evans who I thought was outstanding today.”

Lokan said with the number of young players in the Magpies’ side means their form will ebb and flow, but he is encouraged by their effort week in week out.

“In defence to our boys we have to put it into perspective a little bit, we have a really young side,” he said.

“That’s not to say that we come out here and expect not to compete but we had five of our draftees out there and six top-ups, with the exception of Steven Summerton.

“We had nine or 10 guys who have played less than league games, so I was impressed with their ability to compete against a really quality side, and at the end of the day we just couldn’t get it done.”

The 35-year-old was pleased to have the experience of Tom Rockliff, Jasper Pittard and Sam Powell-Pepper in the side to help provide leadership and knowledge to his side.

“Rocky was fantastic today, not just from a pure performance point of view, I thought the way he gelled with our group and the leadership he brought to our group was fantastic,” Lokan said.

“I thought Sam (Powell-Pepper) along with Rocky and Jasper, showed us some of the things he’s really good at, his contested work is fantastic, he is a tackling machine, and while I didn’t think he was outstanding today, Pep was solid and showed us that he is a really class player.

“It was really great for our guys, Pep is a really popular guy with our group and to be able to have him in our team today gave our young guys a lift.

“We are really lucky with our group, both the contracted guys and the AFL-listed guys are fantastic people and always come with the right attitude.

“Those three guys that we’ve spoken about were all in a fantastic space, and as I said they were all really solid for us today.”

Port Adelaide will now have a bye in Round 5, before taking on the Redlegs at Coopers Stadium on May 4.

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