A PLEASING response, but still plenty of work to do.
Daniel Harford was satisfied with his side’s ability to fight back in the second half of their Round 3 clash with Port Adelaide, but recognised that elements ultimately fell away to allow their opposition back in the game.
“In the end, we played really well for three quarters, we coughed up one and we leave with two points. That’s the summary of the play very quickly," Harford said.
“I’m really pleased with the way we responded in the second half, but we were comprehensively outplayed in that second quarter – outhunted and outworked.”
Building their game around high pressure and contested ball, the Power brought exactly that in a second-quarter burst which proved to be the deciding factor come the final siren.
“Lauren [Arnell] has done a great job with building the foundation of their game around pressure and contest and that was how we had to beat them and match them.
“Our first quarter was terrific – our contested ball, our clearance game, our ability to get out into space was really positive and then they upped their ante in the second quarter and we didn’t do it.
“We rallied in that last quarter in particular and showed that we’ve got plenty of fight. This group’s got plenty of fight and they’re not just going to sit there and accept what’s happening if it’s not going their way.
“I was really pleased with that element of it but when you keep them goalless for three quarters and you still draw, there’s a bit of a problem.”
A number of notable individual performances impressed the coach, perhaps none more so than captain Kerryn Peterson, who has found herself in a new role in season seven.
“The skipper was great – she had some massive one-on-one wins out there on the wing," he said.
“It’s a great opportunity for her to grow her game and again, that’s what we’re trying to do – we’re trying to develop players and find the mix that’s going to win us our first premiership.
“She worked really hard on the wing, has a great defensive mindset obviously from her first five seasons in the competition and now we’re adding another layer.”
Harford also recognised the contributions of the Blues’ three 50-gamers in Breann Moody, Jess Dal Pos and Elise O’Dea.
“You’ve got to mark these milestones, these little things along the way. From where the competition’s been to where it is now and the opportunity that our players now have to be a part of this competition and achieve these milestones is really important to celebrate them.
“'Moods' has obviously been here since the start and has really grown in the last couple of years, she’s blossomed into one of the most powerful performers in the whole competition.
"'Dal' and 'June' are recent acquisitions – great humans, first and foremost, and great leaders around our footy club. 'Dal' had 10 tackles playing that forward 50 role, 'June' hit the scoreboard and had some really good moments in the contest.
“They’re the leaders of our group so we need them to show this young group the way forward."
The Game Changers' next challenge awaits in the west, with Carlton set to face Fremantle on Saturday afternoon.
“They’re growing, they’re getting some players back.
“We know it’s going to be a huge challenge for us to go over there and get the chocolates.”