PORTLAND will monitor star ruckman Ben Malcolm in the lead-up to its ANZAC Day clash with Hamilton Kangaroos after he suffered a groin complaint in Saturday's triumph over Cobden.
Malcolm came off in the first quarter, leaving the bulk of the ruck work to Toby Oakley as the Tigers flexed their muscle late to record a 47-point triumph at Hanlon Park under lights.
Holt was unsure how severe Malcolm's injury was but heaped praise on Oakley for a strong performance.
"It was a good battle all day. He fought really hard and got into positions around the grounds and he did that under a big workload," he said.
"We otherwise had a few sore guys but nothing significant. At one stage we sort of had no bench but I'd say Ben is probably the only one who could miss a couple of weeks."
Our backs early in the game won some crucial one-on-ones which could've gone the other way and I think our guys were able to work a bit harder for longer and get the job done.- Jarrod Holt
Sometimes in footy, winning is just about weathering the storm.
Portland did just that. It held out, cleaned up its disposal and eventually put Cobden to the sword with goals in the third and final terms.
The Bombers stifled the Tigers' around the contest in the first half but couldn't sustain it for four quarters.
Holt said the message at half-time was about staying positive and on the front foot.
"We thought we had an advantage in the midfield, we thought we had a pretty strong midfield but I thought they actually beat us in that area and they put us under a lot of pressure so we found it hard to break away from them," he said.
"Finally, as everyone tired, the game opened up a bit and we were able to hit the scoreboard in the third quarter and get an advantage there. They definitely put us under a lot of pressure and didn't allow us to play the way we wanted to.
"Our backs early in the game won some crucial one-on-ones which could've gone the other way and I think our guys were able to work a bit harder for longer and get the job done."
Holt said Portland's back six - he singled out Nathan Haylock and Josh Edwards - was immense and also praised youngster Kade Lovell for his role across half-forward.
Cobden assistant coach Jake Evans, who coached the side in Dan Casey's absence, said the Bombers fell away from their structures after half-time and felt it was a big factor in the defeat.
He said the intensity and structure in the first half of the game was where the side needed to play at and was a good benchmark.
"We just probably didn't push up enough around the contests as we did in the first half," Evans said.
"They just sort of got repeated goals there and it was hard to get the boys to stick to the structure a bit longer but we'll work on that this week at training again and the boys know what went wrong.
"After the game they all said that they understood where we went wrong so we'll work on that again this week and move on."
Evans said key defender Christian Koroneos suffered a delayed concussion and spent time in Portland hospital after landing on his head.
He praised the Bombers' medical staff and said they ensured he received top quality care.
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