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Cornes: Game was lost in the contest

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PORT ADELAIDE development coach Chad Cornes says his side was simply not good enough in the contest in Saturday night’s 86-point loss to North Melbourne.

Cornes was frustrated with how easy it was for the Kangaroos’ midfielders and ruckman to move the ball through the centre of the ground and into their forward 50.

“It started with the contest,” Cornes said on SEN SA’s Breakfast program.

“Goldstein played one of the best ruck games I have ever seen, and then their mids joined in.

“Cunnington and Higgins were outstanding. They were smashing us in the contest, and the times we did have the ball, we just turned it over easily.

“The defence after we turned the ball over was just non-existent. They came back through the middle with absolutely no pressure on them.

“Good luck to Jonas and Clurey when you’re trying to defend that type of ball coming in.”

Port Adelaide’s runner understands the club will receive some criticism because of Todd Goldstein’s dominance at Marvel Stadium and the non-selection of Scott Lycett, but he acknowledged the good form of Paddy Ryder and Pete Ladhams in the lead-up to the game.

“We are going to cop criticism for those selections this week, no doubt,” Cornes said.

“The previous two weeks those boys had been really good. Scotty was unlucky and his form in the SANFL has been very solid.

“It was horrible conditions at Unley Oval yesterday, but he had a real crack, as all the boys did yesterday.

“I’m sure he will be spoken about a lot this week.”

Cornes expects a big response from the Power this weekend against Fremantle, but he understands the frustrations of all Port Adelaide members and supporters after a performance like the one against the Kangaroos.

“We have shown that we’ve been able to respond from losses fairly well during the year,” he said.

“I think the more damage has been done with how our supporters and the public feel after a loss like that.

“Rightly so, they are frustrated and they’ve had enough of accepting performances like this. We can feel their frustration.

“All the coaches and players are on the same page, in terms of that frustration as well. We have to very quickly sort it out and stop these kinds of losses from happening.”