Ken Hinkley says Port Adelaide has not performed at the level required to play finals football in 2022. Image: AFL Photos.

PORT ADELAIDE was unable to sustain its momentum against a Collingwood side firing on all cylinders on Saturday afternoon at the MCG.

The visiting Power pushed to an early lead, but were eventually overrun by a cleaner and more efficient Magpies outfit, falling to a six-point loss that all but confirms they will not play finals this year.

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Senior coach Ken Hinkley was left to reflect on a match that ultimately mirrors his side’s performance across the entire season.

“It’s absolutely another one (that slipped away),” said Hinkley of a result that felt entirely possible when leading by 24 points in the first term.

“It’s the season we’ve had this year. It’s been close but not good enough and that’s exactly what happened (against Collingwood).

“Our results that we’ve not been able to win have put us clearly where we are (on the ladder).

“There have been games that you think we can win but we haven’t delivered on. That’s what the season has been.”


As Hinkley mused on where his team had fallen short at the MCG, noting lapses in its contest game and inefficiencies moving the ball forward at critical moments, he insisted now was not the time to look back and evaluate the season as a whole.

Rather, the Power mentor insisted his side’s focus must be firmly forward and preparing for its final three games with the same emphasis and enthusiasm as it has had in its chase for an unlikely finals berth.

“I don’t want to look back at this season right now. I want to look forward to what is left to play out for us,” he explained.

“The reality for us now is the next three weeks are really important to how we finish the year and that’s what we’re chasing.

“We’ll look back on the year as a whole once we get through the year and we finish it.”


Port has come up short in doing combat with top eight teams this season, but has rarely been beaten comprehensively and often not just matched, but beaten the competition’s top sides for portions of games.

While patches of strong football give Hinkley confidence in his side’s potential to compete at a high level, he does not shy away from the fact that close enough is simply not good enough when seeking to extend your season into September.

“We put ourselves in games a lot and we get close enough, but we just don’t execute the final part of it,” he said.

“So, we are not good enough to play finals this year.

“Are we good enough to compete with the best teams in the competition? That is clear, we are.

“But we haven’t been good enough to play finals this year.”


As the coaches prepare to dissect the group performance in search of winning adjustments to close the season, Hinkley highlighted the continued growth of several of his players.

Connor Rozee again starred with a game-high 35 touches, while Zak Butters (25 possessions, two goals) and Jase Burgoyne (17 and one) continued to show promising development.

Hinkley also praised the performances of Kane Farrell, who looked at home in the new territory of half-back, Sam Powell-Pepper and his sustained performance across a career-best season and Xavier Duursma’s determination to regain his footing at AFL level.

“We’ve found some players,” said Hinkley of the emergence of several players in new or expanded roles.

“We’ve seen the growth, the Rozee story, Butters again playing a really high level. Connor being close to the best player out there again today.

“There is a significant positive when you see Jase Burgoyne progress like he has in five-six games of football at the size that he is.

“We’ve been prepared to explore things and we will continue to do that but not at the detriment to trying to win.