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Six games into season 2017 and the Port Adelaide defensive unit is performing well with the Power sitting with a 4-2 win/loss record and a chance to solidify a spot in the top eight this weekend with a win over West Coast.
In the six games played in 2017 the Power defence has only conceded 464 points, the lowest in the competition. The last two weeks have seen Carlton and Brisbane restricted to scores of 47 &67 which certainly helps the overall average.
While the quality of opposition in the last fortnight can be debated it is still a positive sign that the defensive unit under Nathan Bassett is functioning in a cohesive fashion.
Bassett was certainly full of praise for his defenders after the victory over Brisbane at the Gabba. “ I’ve been happy with the defenders, Dan Houston has come in and it’s noticeable straight away what a good user of the footy he is. Tom Clurey has had two excellent weeks the last two weeks and Tommy Jonas has been outstanding back there”
The form of Tom Jonas is certainly a bonus and I must put my hand up that I did not see it coming. I was very critical at the end of last season when Jonas had his contract extended after two poor seasons and felt a one or two year deal would have been more than justified. Tom Jonas contract extension
Tom Jonas is not the type of defender who will be judged on possessions. He will be judged on his ability to keep his opponent in check and his defensive actions. For the most part he has done that extremely well this season.
What is certainly noticeable is Jonas appears to be impacting the contest more, assisting his teammates and is currently averaging 5.5 marks per match which is the highest in his career to date.
The 26 year old was certainly not alone the last two seasons with poor form but his position was certainly one that was not a lock at the start of the season. Especially given how well players such as Logan Austin developed at the back end of 2016.
I still maintain it is risky list management to give players three year contracts on the back of two poor seasons. But Tom Jonas may just prove a few critics including myself wrong if he can maintain this form for the rest of 2017.