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Lokan: Young players will learn from Redlegs loss

PORT ADELAIDE SANFL Coach Matthew Lokan says his young side will learn from its 24 point loss to Norwood at the Parade on Friday night.

The Redlegs skipped away to a six goal lead by half time and withstood a late rally by the Magpies to consign them to their second straight loss.

While the home side booted five goals to one in the opening quarter, Lokan felt his side had the better of the opening exchanges.

“I thought early in the first half we were on top, I think we had more inside 50s in the first quarter than what they did but we just didn’t capitalise,” he said.

“To their credit, when you give them space, and I thought we got done a little bit in the contest, and they cut you apart.

“Grigg, Panos and Johnston all had almost 20 possessions each and did kick goals themselves (in the first half)

“We let ourselves down in the first half but credit to our young list, to be able to come back and win the second half and only lose by 24 points is pretty promising.”

Lokan was pleased with the efforts of AFL-listed Sam Powell-Pepper (25 possessions, 6 tackles, 6 inside 50s and 2 goals), Tom Rockliff (31 disposals, 7 inside 50s, 1 goal) and ruckman Billy Frampton (32 hitouts, 20 disposals, 1 goal).

Lokan said first year players Jake Patmore and Kane Farrell showed touches of class in the second half, while Magpies-contracted Jack Kluske did a good defensive job in the second half on Lewis Johnston while kicking two goals himself.

The Magpies coach also praised debutant Darcy Ginever (14 possessions, 5 marks), son of club legend Tim Ginever.

“Darcy was pretty solid today in our backline who were under a fair bit of stress, especially in the first half,” Lokan said.

“Darcy’s strengths are his contest stuff and being able to spoil the ball and I think at the end of the first quarter he led us with seven disposals so we were really pleased with what Darcy brought tonight.

“It was a huge occasion, Timmy gave him his jumper before the game and it was a special occasion for Darcy and the family.”

It was the first time this season that the Magpies had lost consecutive matches but Lokan said he was proud of his side’s response after half time.

“We certainly don’t accept losing, that’s not what we’re about here at Port Adelaide, but I explained to the boys that if they can take some growth and learn from this game, we can get something out of it,” he said.

“I think we had eight contracted guys play today and then four or five first and second year guys so for them to play in a red hot game like this against a quality side was good and it was pleasing that we were able to come back in the second half.

“The way we were winning the ball at the contest, I think still late in the game we weren’t able to capitalise going inside forward 50 but we were able to get on top in the contest and our fitness showed out, we were able to get some run out of our half back line so it was one of those games I thought we were close enough to get something out of it, but just not close enough.”

The Magpies will have a week off as the competition comes to a halt for next weekend’s state game between South Australia and Western Australia, featuring Port Adelaide skipper Steven Summerton.

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