North+Port 2011

North Melbourne

Brief Summary:  Injuries have probably held them back for a realistic shot at the 8.

10 wins and 11th. (actual at end of season = 10 wins and 9th)



More Detail:   The Roos narrowly missed the finals last year but finished with a terrible percentage courtesy of a few hammerings to top sides.  There are some positives this year which will help.  Firstly, the 2011 draw is better than the previous year. They have repeat matches against the Tigers and Lions; they get the Dons after the Dons have a 6 day break from Perth; and they get Freo early.  There is improvement in Garlett, Goldstein, Tarrant, Thompson and Wright.  Mature aged recruit Richardson looks the goods while Daw shows some promise for the future.  But the big injury toll is a concern.  They are on target for a worse injury tally in 2011 than 2010.  Only Freo has had worse injury problems to date.  They have significant injuries to talls Grima, Hansen and McIntosh.  Drew Petrie is also suspended for round 1.

Definitely missing round 1 (from best 22):              Bastinac, Campbell, Greenwood, McIntosh,

May miss round 1 or be underdone (from best 22):          Cunnington, Grima, Hansen, Rawlings, Thompson

Look for improvement from:           Garlett (incorrect and was sub multiple times), Goldstein (correct), Tarrant (incorrect) and Wright (looked good before injuries finished off his season)

Don’t expect too much from:           Atley – highly regarded but NAB form only fair.  A chance for round 1 with all the injuries, but may take a year to settle in (incorrect – he did better than I anticipated)

Likely to get a game R1:       Richardson – has done well in Nab games and a mature aged recruit; McKinley is a chance


Keys for the club:      Managing the list through the early rounds to ensure they win a few games without bringing back players too early.

Important Rounds:   They have 2 trips to Perth, a bye and a Pies game in the first 4 weeks while they try to regain players from injury.  Their chance to make good progress will be rounds 5 – 14 where they only play 2 finalists from 2010:  Cats and Swans in Melbourne.  Things get tougher after that so they need to be well entrenched in the top 8 at round 14.

Post Season Review (added 24 Jan 2012)

The analysis was very good in this instance.  The fact of the matter is that their early injuries cost them a final 8 position.  Nonetheless, the losses by big margins to top teams remain a concern.  That is their next hurdle to jump.


Port Adelaide

Brief Summary:  A risky conveyance at the best of times, but may regroup under Primus to sneak into the finals.  12 wins and 8th. (actual at end of season = 3 wins and 16th)



More Detail:   Look up the word “Inconsistent” in the new Aussie dictionary and you will see a picture of Port 2010.  they began last year with 5 wins out of 7 and finished with 5 out of 6.  Problem is that they lost 9 in a row in the middle of the year.  A positive in all this is that the relationship between Mark Williams and the Port administration appeared shaky and Primus managed 5 wins when he coached for the last 7 games – including a critical Showdown victory. Their true form is somewhere between their midseason slump and the extreme ends of 2010.

So this prediction comes with a warning:  high variance!!  The variance is not helped by some key players:  Motlop, Hitchcock and Gray are important but have not contributed fully die to injury and / or focus issues.  Their draw is better in 2011 with one less trip to Perth than 2010. Pettigrew is back from injury and Boak looks ready to justify his early draft pick status.  Longggey will be prepared to amend Port’s rating as the season progresses, but for now the fact that they seem happier with primus in charge grants them the final spot in the 8.


Definitely missing round 1 (from best 22):              Lobbe

May miss round 1 or be underdone (from best 22):          Surjan tipped to play SANFL as he is underdone; Rodan, Irons (rookie tipped to be promoted)

Look for improvement from:           Jackson Trengove has stepped up in the NAB Cup (correct)

Don’t expect too much from:           Ebert  – 2011 was his first ever injury interrupted pre season (correct, but others did much worse)

Likely to get a game R1:                   Pittard


Keys for the club:      They had a lot of important players missing chunks of 2010.  They need to get most of these playing full seasons.  Robbie Gray needs his hammies to hold up

Important Rounds:   Port were terrible around rounds 13 – 17 last year.  This year they have byes either side of these rounds and have 5 winnable but challenging games:  Eagles away, Roos, Lions away, Saints, Dees away.  These 5 weeks may decide whether they play finals or not.

Post Season Review (added 24 Jan 2012)

How embarrassment (as Effie of Acropolis Now used to say)!  The big mistake here was to assume that the change over of coach late in 2010 had fixed everything.  The other factor was the lack of coaching panel depth and availability.  Dean Laidley was living in Melbourne and, as such, was only a part timer.  Then there were problems with finance and the CEO Mark Haysman resigning mid season.  All this pointed to “trouble at the club”.  Add to this the messy “Chad Cornes to GWS” deal and the shocking loss of form of younger brother Kane.  The Cassisi injury plus injuries to key talls totally killed off the year.  The lack of talls and injuries to tall players was not given enough weight.  To borrow from Matthew Primus after their loss in Adelaide to the Suns:  “I’d like to apologise to readers for the tipping Port to finish 8th. I’ve got to delve real deep within to understand why I would produce this kind of analysis. It [the result] doesn’t do a great deal for the website. People expect expert analysis and I haven’t held up my end of the bargain.”