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SANFL preview: Port vs Sturt

PORT ADELAIDE will be looking to bounce back from a tough fortnight when it faces Sturt at Alberton Oval on Saturday afternoon.

The Magpies were defeated by Glenelg by 49 points in Round 8 and Adelaide by 16 points in Round 7, and coach Matt Lokan is hoping to see a response against the in-form Double Blues this weekend.

“We have been basing our game since the start of the season to be more consistent and to fade out in games has been disappointing,” Lokan said.

“There has been plenty of areas we have needed to work on, but the boys have trained as normal with the bye and are focussed on Sturt.”

The Magpies are fresh off the split round bye, and could bring in some AFL experience to this weekend’s contest.

They will however be without ball magnet Jack Trengove, who will miss the next couple of weeks with a leg injury.

Sturt currently sit fifth - one spot above the Magpies on the ladder - after four consecutive victories over South Adelaide, West Adelaide, North Adelaide and Central Districts in the past month.

Sturt’s hot run of form has been led by a lift in the output of star leaders, Sam Colquhoun, Aidan Riley and dual Magarey Medallist Zane Kirkwood.

The Double Blues have shared their goals around this season to create a dangerous forward line with Jake Sutcliffe, Josh Hone and Mark Evans each leading their goal scoring with 11 apiece.

Tobin Cox remains Port’s most potent goal scorer with 15 majors so far this season.

The Magpies have the second-best attack in the competition (behind Glenelg), averaging 91 points per game, with Billy Frampton (10 goals from four games), Peter Ladhams (eight goals) and Sam Davidson (eight) all enjoying good seasons in front of goal.

Sturt has been the second-best defence in the League (behind Glenelg), averaging 68.3 points against, in what makes for an enthralling contest.

The last time Port and Sturt met was in Round 11 last year, which ended favourably for the Magpies who claimed a hard fought seven-point win in a low-scoring match at Alberton Oval.

Jack Watts had 18 disposals, took eight marks and booted three goals in the clash, while Jack Trengove also had a standout game with 27 disposals, two goals and 13 marks.

Port Adelaide will be hoping for a similar result when it takes on the Double Blues this Saturday from 2.10pm.