PORT ADELAIDE coach Ken Hinkley has praised his side’s ability to hang firm under extreme pressure in its Round 12 AFL win over Richmond.
The Power claimed a 14-point win over the reigning premiers on the back of a seven-goal-to-two second quarter.
“We certainly didn’t go conservative,” Hinkley said
“We lost a bit of that speed on the ball and that was a bit more to do with what Richmond
“They can lock you in a bit and put you under a fair bit of pressure so I thought we were actually quite composed.
Leading by 23 points at the main break and with Justin Westhoff running rampant with three goals and 16 disposals, the Power managed one goal seven in the second half as the Tigers closed down the Power’s run.
“We’d like to kick more,” Hinkley said of his side’s failure to hit the scoreboard after the break.
“We were on good pace in the first half but then we kicked one goal seven (in the second half) so we missed our opportunities.
“I’d much rather us kick 100 plus points every week but it’s not always easy to do.
“We got opportunities and we missed some easy ones tonight too but that’s just a continuation of our game and we know we’re working hard on it.
“But I’ll take 68 entries most weeks because it’s going to be hard for the opposition to score.”
The Power won all the key statistics including the clearances 49-35, but most pleasing for Hinkley was the disparity in the contested possessions, which his side won 187-153.
“I thought it was a nice, strong, even performance,” Hinkley said.
“It was never going to be anything flashy when you see who the opposition
“We’ve got our contested ball in pretty good shape in the last month, I think that’s been really important, albeit we haven’t won every game.
“We’re actually fighting it out and winning strong inside
Wines finished with 29 touches, including 16 contested, seven clearances, 12 tackles and ten inside
Hinkley was also pleased with the response of Chad Wingard (31 disposals, 5 marks, seven clearances, eight tackles and six inside
Wingard started on the ball and was instrumental throughout the contest.
“It was us needing that player around the ball and Chad, I loved his stuff this week, he didn’t shy away from being a little off in his form and what a way to respond, the way he played tonight,” Hinkley said.
“We challenge all our players regularly – if they’re not in good form, they know exactly where they stand.
Hinkley also heaped praise on another player to cop some flack in the press this week in Charlie Dixon who booted the first goal of the game and was ever-present when his side needed him.
“He was playing on a really good player,” Hinkley said.
“I loved their battle, it was just fierce together all night and it was just hard work for both of them.
“Charlie got the upper hand early but (Alex) Rance is the best defender in the competition and he’s going to work pretty hard all day.
“As I said going into this game Charlie just needs to keep giving us a contest and he certainly did that tonight.”
Next up for the Power is a Thursday night encounter with the Western Bulldogs again at Adelaide Oval.
Hinkley said while beating the reigning Premiers was important, it was equally vital to string wins together.
“We’re seven and four after eleven games and we can’t be too critical, we lost a game by a handful of points,” he said.
“We’re not as consistent as we’d like to be, we’re still trying to get that.”