PORTLAND is on the cusp of creating history.
The Jarrod Holt-coached Tigers are closing in on their first Hampden league finals appearance since crossing to the south-west's major competition in 2013.
A gritty 7.14 (56) to 4.3 (27) triumph over Port Fairy on Saturday all but sealed the top-five berth.
Warrnambool is still mathematically a chance to snatch fifth spot but would need to win its three remaining games and have the Tigers lose theirs in order to play finals.
We're not going to hide away from the fact we're potentially going to play finals footy.Jarrod Holt
Holt said Portland set up well defensively and felt it controlled the clash with the Seagulls from the get-go.
"It's hard to know what to take out of a game like that. I think early on, when it wasn't really wet, we played some good footy," he said.
"I think in the forward half of the ground we still have a bit to work on. It felt like we controlled the game for the majority of it but we probably weren't able to put on that scoreboard pressure.
"But it was pleasing to get another win on the board in some really wet second-half conditions."
Holt said Portland wouldn't hide away from the fact it was honing in on a finals berth.
"Each week, we'll just keep trying to win," he said.
"We're not going to hide away from the fact we're potentially going to play finals footy.
"That'll probably be in the back of everyone's minds but I'm confident and I'm sure the boys are too that we can keep getting better."
Port Fairy coach Winis Imbi said his side showed genuine effort but just suffered from lapses.
He said the Tigers' first-quarter, which yielded three majors to none, was disappointing but felt the match was another chapter in the Seagulls' journey under his guidance.
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