PORT ADELAIDE assistant coach Brett Montgomery has been pleased with the output of his side’s forward group over the past fortnight.
The Power registered 126 points against Essendon at Marvel Stadium in Round 20, then followed up with 103 points in difficult conditions against Sydney on Saturday afternoon.
But the most pleasing aspect for Montgomery was the forward pressure acts by the key position players in the attacking part of the ground.
“It was a great output from a forward group that had come under a lot of scrutiny,” Montgomery said at a press conference at Alberton Oval on Monday morning.
“They are still a work in progress for us. The dynamics. The combinations. The height. The speed. We are still searching for that right combination.
“On the weekend, to have 26 tackles in that part of the ground with the extra tall, to force Sydney into a lot more rushed rebound and dirty ball in the way out, was a real feather in their cap.
“As a group, they really put a high price on making sure they kept it in the area if they didn’t mark it.”
It was the first time since rounds 5 and 6 that Port managed back-to-back wins in 2019, but the defensive coach says the importance of Saturday’s 47-point win over the Swans went deeper than that.
“There were a few significant things to come from the weekend,” Montgomery said.
“Not just back-to-back, but winning in the wet. Being able to adjust to conditions which we hadn’t done in first quarters quick enough previously.
“Building on what was a great performance last week which we have done in the past but not been able to build.”
Montgomery had special praise for running defender Darcy Byrne-Jones, who has gone to another level this season.
Byrne-Jones collected a team-high 28 disposals on the weekend, and Montgomery says his connection to the Power’s game-style has become incredibly important.
“He’s had an outstanding year,” he said.
“The beauty of Darcy is the combination of teammates he has around him, and his connection to the way we want to play has really strengthened his game.
“I don’t think we’ve got another player on our list who has been able to embrace what we are trying to do, and execute it so well and so quickly.
“He should be in the conversation for one of the league’s best half-back flankers.”
The Power travels to Melbourne to face North Melbourne at Marvel Stadium in Round 22, as it looks to retain its position in the top eight.