PORT ADELAIDE coach Ken Hinkley says he was happy with his side’s return on the scoreboard in its big win over the Western Bulldogs but said defensively it gave up some goals it shouldn’t have.
The Power won by 57 points – its biggest win of the season – after recording its highest score.
The win was set up with a five-goal-to-none first quarter and despite a small fightback from the Bulldogs in the second term, the Power played the game mostly on its terms.
“We were pretty good over the course of the whole night bar the second quarter where the Bulldogs got a bit of a run on,” Hinkley said.
“We were pretty dominant in some key stats that we like to look at.
“Obviously 20 goals 12 is really pleasing, maybe gave up one or two that we would have preferred not to.”
Most pleasing for Hinkley was the return to AFL football for young forward Todd Marshall who managed two behinds from eight touches and two marks.
The 19-year-old was playing his first AFL game since returning from compassionate leave following the death of his father and received a rousing reception from the home supporters who gave him a round of applause in the 13th minute of the first quarter.
“Football is a great community, we all understand that. We see it time and time again and from our point of view we’ve seen it this week for Toddy,” Hinkley said.
“Everyone was pleased for him, I reckon his teammates were busting for him to get one and he missed a couple that he’d normally get but it was a great result to have him back out there playing football.
“It’s a great result for his family that they get some moments to smile, a great result for his mum and dad who I’m sure
Hinkley said although he was goalless for the night, he was pleased to see Marshall involved with the team.
“He was really keen to get back, you could just sense in the last couple of weeks that he was desperate to get back,” he said.
“He’s a good player, a really smart footballer.
“He’s got football IP that’s at the highest level and I think he’ll become a significant player for our footy club over a long period of time.”
Another who returned to the senior side was Lindsay Thomas who scored a goal and was involved in several others in his second game for the club, following a four-week suspension and three games in the SANFL.
Hinkley said he was particularly pleased with his unselfish team play around goals.
“I think he showed tonight that he’s actually going to offer a bit, more than just back up support,” Hinkley said.
“He’s selfless, his want to make the team better is obvious, even at the level underneath and when people are on edge and desperate to do well it’s not a bad thing.
“He wants to represent his family well, he wants to play for Port Adelaide for longer than just a little while.
“He’s trying to make every moment last for longer and at the moment he’s doing really well.”
The Power next faces Melbourne on Friday night in its third home match in a row.
“We’ve got a great challenge next Friday night against a very, very good team,” Hinkley said.