Tuesday 17 August 2010

Southport are desperately in need of a spark to reignite their premiership hopes on the eve of the QAFL finals series.

Four losses in five weeks have the Sharks again looking for answers, although two key areas are obvious.

They have been badly beaten in the middle and around the clearances, while they have not been attacking from defence nearly as well as early in the season.

“We’re not looking for breakaways and then looking for the overlap,” said coach Craig Crowley. “We’re congesting it (around the bounces) and putting ourselves under pressure.”

The Sharks looked good in a 104-point demolition of the Western Magpies a fortnight ago, but came back to earth with a 26-point loss to Mt Gravatt at home last Saturday.

Defenders Ben Caputi, Kurt Niklaus and Tom Daniel worked overtime against a flood of ball generated by Mt Gravatt, but Crowley is looking for more from the defensive unit as a whole.

“The backline was good defensively but offensively I don’t think we were very strong,” the coach said.

“We didn’t get any run from there and if we did, it was under pressure, so we turned the ball over going forward. “

A lack of genuine passion is also concerning the two-time premiership coach.

“The love for each other is not there at the moment,” he said. “We’re not bonding, we’re expecting. Unless we start loving each other…”

The Sharks had firmed to solid premiership favourites after winning their first seven games, and were still rock solid with an 11-1 record. While still highly competitive, the last five weeks have been a major disappointment for the Sharks.

“The games we won during the year didn’t give us a true indication because a lot of the opposition had players out,” Crowley pointed out.

“Probably more than anything, other sides have had a good look at us and worked us out.”

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