Troy Chaplin
Troy Chaplin

Port Adelaide coach Matthew Primus has refused to use injuries to key players throughout the match as an excuse for his side's 38-point loss to the Western Bulldogs in Sunday's twilight game.

The Power endured a difficult day as Jacob Surjan was subbed off with concussion and Hamish Hartlett hurt his hamstring during the third quarter.

Jackson Trengove bravely played on despite suffering a finger dislocation in the first term that was re-dislocated about half-an-hour later, while Paul Stewart suffered a cork, Darren Pfeiffer took a heavy knock to his shoulder and key forward Jay Schulz copped a solid bump to his already strapped-up ribs.

Although the injuries really started to mount up after half-time, Primus said they were not to blame for his side turning in what he called the 'worst effort we'd had all year'.

"It (the injuries) might have hurt us in the last quarter but the game was well and truly dead and buried by then," Primus said.

"We had a lot of players down but it was no issue for us, the way we played and how we went about our footy in the first half had nothing to do with the injuries we copped towards the end.

"I thought we'd been going through it manfully the last month, the last five weeks, but today was really disappointing the way went about our footy.

"Full credit to the Bulldogs, they really came out and were really hard at the contest and we were pretty second rate in that regard to it and it sort of flowed on to how we moved the ball and our skill level in the first half.

"All game we were lucky to stay in striking distance because of their inaccuracy but they certainly gave us a lesson in some hardness at the footy," he said.

Primus said the match left a bitter taste in his mouth heading into next week's bye, despite his side having come a fair way from last year's dismal effort.

We'd had some poor quarters, one or two, but I'd be pretty proud of the way the guys have gone about their footy all year," Primus said.

"But today I just thought it was just a real poor total game from us.

"Probably three or four quarters for the year I could say they hadn't really had a full-blown effort at the opposition but apart from that they'd been really consistent with their effort and their competitiveness.

"Today I just thought we were a long way off it and if the Bulldogs had kicked straight it probably would have really shown up how far we were off it."

Primus said there had been no indication from injured key midfielder Travis Boak as to whether he had decided to stay at the club when his contract runs out at the end of the season.

Boak has been at home in Geelong over the last few days since having foot surgery a fortnight ago, with the coach expecting him to miss the clash with the Cats that comes after next week's bye before being possibly available for the Showdown with Adelaide the following week.

Primus said he also expected Hartlett to miss four to five weeks of football.


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