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Hinkley: Ryder a good chance for Round 1

ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 09 : Paddy Ryder of the Power clashes with Ben McKay of the Kangaroos during the 2019 JLT Community Series match between the Port Adelaide Power and the North Melbourne Kangaroos at Alberton Oval on March 09, 2019 in Adelaide, Australia. (Photo by AFL Media)
ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 09 : Paddy Ryder of the Power clashes with Ben McKay of the Kangaroos during the 2019 JLT Community Series match between the Port Adelaide Power and the North Melbourne Kangaroos at Alberton Oval on March 09, 2019 in Adelaide, Australia. (Photo by AFL Media)

PORT ADELAIDE coach Ken Hinkley expects gun ruckman Paddy Ryder to be fit to play in round 1 of the AFL premiership season after the big man left the field with a cheek injury in Saturday’s win over North Melbourne.

Ryder collided with teammate Robbie Gray while attempting to collect the ball in the third quarter of the 21-point victory at Alberton Oval.

It’s the second injury scare Ryder has given Hinkley in two JLT Community Series games after limping off with a rolled ankle last week.

But the Power coach said the 2017 All-Australian was in good spirits.

“He’s got a high little depression on his cheekbone, which is good because they’re quite simple,” Hinkley said in his post-match press conference.

“It sounds a bit cold but it’s quite a simple thing – they’ll just flick that out and I’d say realistically he’s a more than good chance to play round 1.

“He’s got to have a little procedure so I shouldn’t be so confident about round 1, I should be cautious.

“He said I remember everything about the incident, so there wasn’t any concussion, which was a good result. It’s just a clash of heads.”

Defender Jarrod Lienert left the field in the first half and didn’t return after reporting knee soreness and Hinkley said it appeared he might have an issue with his medial ligament.

He said the 24-year-old would have a scan tomorrow to determine the extent of the injury but he said it could sideline him for up to four weeks, putting him in doubt for the Power’s season opener against Melbourne at the MCG.

Another who won’t be there is Jake Patmore who tore his anterior cruciate ligament in the club’s SANFL trial game against South Adelaide on Friday night.

“That’s really disappointing for Jake because he was playing really well,” Hinkley said.

“It’s a significant injury but unfortunately the game we play says that you have to risk your body.

“That’s why these blokes go out there every time and put themselves at risk and he hurts himself with a long-term injury.

“Jake was really positive around the club today, which is a good thing but it’s a sad day for him and us to have a young promising player get hurt that badly.”

The Power showed attacking intent and a willingness to move the ball quickly through the corridor in its win over the Kangaroos, signs that pleased Hinkley.

In a high-scoring opening 14 goals were kicked in the first quarter and 22 in the first half.

Hinkley said the more than 6000 people who turned out to the game at Alberton Oval would have enjoyed the end to end contest, and he was happy that his side tightened up defensively in the second half and restricted the Kangaroos from then on – and finished with 19 goals to 16.

“It’s been a really long time since we kicked a score like that,” Hinkley noted.

“Even last week when we only had 40 entries, we still kicked 90 points.

“That’s an exciting Port Adelaide. That’s a Port Adelaide that we like to se. That’s the Port Adelaide I like to be involved with.

“It’s not always going to be like that. It’s not always going to be as free-flowing as it was today but it won’t be from us not trying to take the game on, I can tell you that.”

Again there were promising signs from Port Adelaide’s draftees Zak Butters (3 goals), Connor Rozee and Xavier Duursma, along with recruits Ryan Burton and Scott Lycett (2 goals).

But it was the form of two more experienced campaigners in Tom Rockliff (41 disposals, 16 marks, 9 clearances, 2 goals) and Travis Boak (27 disposals, 11 marks, 1 goal) which impressed Hinkley most.

“Rockliff’s a serious player when you see I think 45 touches,” he said of the Brisbane recruit who was disappointing in 2018.

“He’s the first to say that last year was tough for him – it was pretty interrupted.

“We hope that Rock can deliver that throughout the season consistently and his history would suggest he can.

“And Trav the same – Trav’s been in good form.

“He’s just built on his pre-season, as we’ve said before with his decision (to stand aside from the captaincy) he’s quite free and enjoying everything so it looks like a good decision for Travis personally and hopefully he gets to be part of a successful team.”

In cryptic fashion, Hinkley indicated it was likely the team would see few changes ahead of round 1, but he didn’t completely shut the door to some possible inclusions.

“I think the boys who were out there today get first look at it,” he said.

“Obviously if Jarrod misses, we bring in a defender but most of the team would be certainly what was out there today I would imagine.

“We’ll just make sure we haven’t got any surprise inclusions. Ollie’s moving really well.”