TODD Marshall's ability to "be the man" in the Port Adelaide forward line and put himself in more contests has resulted in a dramatic spike in one key indicator that is turning the Power's season around.
The Power ranked 17th in the first five rounds for marks inside 50, but they have consistently found targets in attack during a three-match winning run and rank No.2 in the AFL for the key stat in that period.
Last Friday night's win against the Western Bulldogs saw the team take more marks inside 50 (21) than in any other game in the past three seasons, while the differential of 12 was also a new high between 2020-2022.
Marshall's presence has been the key, taking 23 marks across the past three weeks, including a career-high 11 against West Coast in round six, and becoming the spearhead in a forward group that remains without Charlie Dixon.
Forwards coach Nathan Bassett this week said the 23-year-old had "taken ownership" of the forward line and was deferring less to teammates.
"He can be a little bit too polite … he's such a nice team player that he forgets he's got to go and put himself in the contest," Bassett said.
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"I really like how he's starting to take ownership of the forward line and put himself in more contests.
"I've been rapt for Todd the last month or so with how he's been performing and we want to turn it into something that's sustainable for him."
Marshall has given the Power a welcome headache as Dixon prepares to return from an ankle injury in the coming weeks.
After his first hit-out in the SANFL last week, Dixon will be able to return against North Melbourne at Blundstone Arena on Saturday if the Power need him, but there appears little need to rush the 31-year-old with the way the forward group is working.
Recruit Jeremy Finlayson booted three goals against the Bulldogs and five against the Eagles, while accuracy issues have prevented Mitch Georgiades from cashing in, booting 0.4 on Friday night.
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"More good players is always a good headache. If you put it back two weeks, it was a different sort of headache. I'd much prefer this one," Bassett said.
"There's always opportunities whenever there's a crisis, and certainly when you lose your first five there's a crisis.
"(But) Todd gets a couple of opportunities to shine in the forward line and now he's taken that chance and run with it."