Ken Hinkley has addressed the media ahead of travelling to Melbourne to take on Collingwood. Image: AFL Photos.

KEN Hinkley defines it as "a big test - no bigger test than Collingwood in front of their faithful". But the Port Adelaide coach doubts there can be a defining moment in round six - even if this weekend's challenge is against the AFL premier at the MCG.

"It is round six against a very good team in Collingwood on their home deck ... it is tough," says Hinkley of Saturday afternoon's blockbuster at the G. "But every week is tough.

"We are going over with the mindset that we want to win. And the reality is Collingwood are turning up with the same thought. It will be an interesting contest ...

"I want us to continue to play our brand of football. We do that - and get the win - it will be a great outcome for us. But it will not mean any more at the end of round six ... it will mean more at the end of round 24 depending on how many games we have won."



Former Collingwood player Brenton Sanderson has noted Port Adelaide players make more mistakes than any other team in the AFL, but do not lose their verve amid those errors.

"Maybe we are making too many mistakes ... but that is the way we play: With freedom and courage," Hinkley said. "We attack the game and like the game played that way. With that comes mistakes. We are comfortable to embrace that."


Port Adelaide returns to a two-ruck system with the promotion of Western Bulldogs recruit Jordon Sweet for his club debut. But whether it is Sweet or Ivan Soldo taking the majority of the ruck work while the other works in attack to cover the absence of Charlie Dixon remains undefined.

"Whoever is required on the day," Hinkley said. "Depending on what is going on in the game ... what we do know is we have two very good ruckmen who are very good at being contest players in our front half. We are okay whichever way we go.

"Collingwood does have its own very good ruck combination, so that was one of the challenges we face and answer with two recognised ruckmen. We have forecast for a while we are not against playing two rucks. 

Trade targets Jordon Sweet and Ivan Soldo share a laugh at training. Image: Matt Sampson.

"The important point is both Soldo and Sweet - Sweet with two goals last week (in the SANFL) - have both shown the capability of hitting the scoreboard.

"Jordon has been working on his forward craft for a good period of time, even in his time at the Bulldogs."


Charlie Dixon was never going to the MCG this weekend when Port Adelaide planned the key forward's season with the aim of having him in peak condition and form near and in September.

And then the decision was reaffirmed with Dixon falling ill at the start of the week.

"We made a decision before the start of the year that Charlie was never playing round six," Hinkley said. "That was our decision at the start of the year and then unfortunately he had been crook this week.

Charlie Dixon will rest against Collingwood after a physical start to the season. Image: AFL Photos.

"If he needed to play this week, we would pick him ... but we decided before the pre-season that we were going to look after him more than we have ever done to make sure we get more games and more minutes from him. And more contests from him."

Hinkley insists "this will not be the last time we give Charlie a rest" but he did not detail when and how often Dixon would be managed.

"It will be (decided) by minutes played and contests involved in, and as everyone knows,  Charlie is in a lot of contests," Hinkley said. "We are very mindful of what he does week in, week out. But we are also very mindful of what he does for us as a team.

"Charlie has been very open to (a managed season) because he knows he has X amount of minutes that he can play. He has been very supportive."


Port Adelaide plays its 57th AFL premiership match at the MCG (25 wins and one draw so far) where it has won on the past three visits to Australian football's biggest and most-storied venue. The most-recent win against Collingwood was by one point in a defensive battle in May 2021.

"So much goes into what you win or don't at different venues ... and our last loss at the G was against Collingwood," said Hinkley referring to the 71-point defeat in round two last season.


Or more to the point, "Who gets Nick Daicos?"

"He is one of a number of Collingwood players we are concerned about," Hinkley said. "Whether it is Willem Drew or Ollie Wines or Connor Rozee or Zak Butters or Jason Horne-Francis, all the midfielders, they will be dealing with a star ... Nick Daicos has proven that.

"Run-with players are different today to what they were in the past."

One of Port Adelaide's focuses will be to minimise Nick Daicos' impact. Image: AFL Photos.


Former Port Adelaide captain Travis Boak remains on the sidelines with a sore back for the second consecutive week.

"Travis is a little frustrated because he thought he would be right to play," Hinkley said. "He is frustrated he can't do everything he needs to do in a game. It is a risk we don't take."