Team defence the focus for Power: Bassett
Friday, June 16, 2017 - 10:47 AM

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FIXING its team defence is Port Adelaide's number one priority ahead of Saturday's clash with the Brisbane Lions at Adelaide Oval.

The Power conceded a whopping 117 points off turnovers in last weekend's 19.17 (131) to 8.13 (61) thumping at the hands of Essendon.

Defence has been a strong suit of the Power's this season on their way to conceding the fewest points in the competition.

Power defensive coach Nathan Bassett said the onus was on the entire group to produce a better effort than the one they did against the Bombers.

"We allowed the opposition too easily through the corridor, our pressure in the forward line was average, our midfield accountability was poor and our defenders didn't win enough of their own contests, so as a group we've got to be better," Bassett told reporters on Thursday.

"The speed of the ball movement Essendon had 26 running bounces, the most they've had in nine years.

"When the ball is coming in that quick, it's pretty hard to defend."

The Bombers targeted the Power's key defenders and maximised the height advantage of their forwards, but Bassett said the defence had held its own this season.

"We've conceded less marks inside 50 than every other team in the competition this year," Bassett said.

"We conceded 11 marks inside 50 last week, which is average.

"When you lose by 70 points, you're going to concede 15 to 20 marks inside 50. It was actually on the ground where they got us.

"I'm not concerned at all by size of defence, it's more how we defend as a group.

"Essendon got through way too easy."

Bassett didn't reveal the changes the Power would make to their side, but all but confirmed forward Aaron Young would return after having 37 possessions and booting five goals in the SANFL.

The Power are warm favourites to have their second win over the last-placed Lions this season, but Bassett isn't taking anything for granted.

"Every team is a good team to bounce back against and our focus is to play the best footy we can, no matter who we're playing against," he said.

"Brisbane are a young team, but very strong in the midfield.

"They've been very competitive, especially early in games.

"We've been somewhere near it for most of the season and last week we weren't there, so we have to respond."

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31 Steele Sidebottom (Coll)
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