PORTLAND coach Kerri Jennings says the new-look Tigers will take a lot of confidence out of their seven-goal win over last year’s finalist Terang Mortlake.
A fast start set up their 41-34 win at Hanlon Park with league best and fairest winner Lauren Hockley a decisive, accurate figure in attack.
The Tigers led 6-0 in the opening minutes and despite Terang Mortlake getting back within two goals in the third term, they never surrendered the lead.
Jennings made several positional moves at three-quarter time in the warm conditions, searching for added impetus.
“It was just seamless,” she said of the changes.
“It’s really pleasing we have that depth and we didn’t fall away. It shows the ones on the bench are no lesser than the ones on the court and it means you can have more combinations.”
Jennings said her side’s defensive pressure had been significant.
“They (Terang Mortlake) played well but we turned the ball over 30 times. If you look at the scoreboard, we should have won by a lot more. Our passing and decision making wasn’t too great.”
She said the form of 15-year-old shooter Tayla Falconer, who made eight of 10 attempts in the last term when the game was on the line, was impressive.
Terang Mortlake coach Aimee Arundell lamented her side’s slow start.
“We were playing catch up for the whole game. They came out firing and they played really well,” she said.
“I think we were a little bit rattled but when we settled we had a pretty good second and third quarters.
“They made us work for everything, their pressure was really good.”
Arundell said in the tight third quarter, Portland’s defenders Jacqui Piergrosse and Cathryn Walder were important, grabbing rebounds and setting up attacking moves.