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More injury blows for Port

April 11, 2024 12:30 pm in by
Portarlington star Connor Menadue in action against Ocean Grove. (Marcel Berens/Sports Media)

After bringing two hoodoos to an end to start the 2024 Bellarine season, Portarlington’s odds of making it a trifecta have drifted following injuries to two more key players.

The Demons, who snapped a 68-game losing streak in beating Newcomb in Round 1 and then ended a 30-year drought against Ocean Grove last week, have never beaten Geelong Amateur at Queens Park since the Pegs entered the competition in 1995.

However, coach Warren Finlayson has revealed Portarlington, which went into the clash with the Grubbers without captain Mitch Turnbull and former Carlton player Jaryd Cachia, will be missing former Richmond and North Melbourne midfielder Connor Menadue and ruck Daniel Riosa.

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Menadue picked up a hamstring injury against Ocean Grove, while Riosa suffered damage to his posterior cruciate ligament.

“Connor went off early with a low-grade hamstring … it’s something he’s experienced before,” Finlayson said.

“He’s looking at two weeks out.

“Riosa’s got scans back, and he’s done his PCL (posterior cruciate ligament) and is looking at four weeks, which is a good result.

“It could have been eight (weeks), but the physio and the docs are quite happy with the style of PCL he’s done.”

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Riosa’s absence means Lachie Hart will shoulder much of the ruck responsibilities for Portarlington.

“He had to tackle the load last week against Ocean Grove, and we had (Steve) Heppell and (Kelly) Pickard pinch-hit a little bit in there,

“But, Lachie will have to take much of the ruck burden for the next couple of weeks.”

The loss of Menadue is offset by the absence of Geelong Amateur Tom Gribble (ankle).

However, former GFNL stars Riley Ferguson and Blake Sutterby will ensure Ammos don’t lack quality in their midfield.

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“Ferg’s been in and around that midfield for a long period of time, and with Blake coming in, it adds another string to their bow with a bit of strength and class in the stoppages,” Finlayson said.

“And they’ve got some high-quality forwards in (Paddy) Dowling and (Jai) Sheahan that we’ll have to keep an eye on for Saturday.”

Finlayson confirmed Turnbull will be sidelined until the second half of the season, with Cachia a chance to return for the Anzac Day clash with Drysdale.

X: @krockfootball

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