Port Adelaide coach Ken Hinkley can’t wait for a last-round showdown for fourth spot against Fremantle in Perth next weekend.
Coach Ken Hinkley reckons Port Adelaide get a “free hit” at finishing in the AFL’s coveted top four.
The Power stole fourth spot from Fremantle with a 103-point drubbing of Carlton on Friday night – but the Dockers will likely take it back with a win against Brisbane on Sunday.
That sets up a showdown for fourth in the last round when Fremantle host Port in Perth – the winner takes a precious double-chance into the finals.
“For us, almost it’s a free hit,” Hinkley said.
“Everyone is saying we’re not capable of top four after the start we had and dropped off, so we look forward to the challenge.”
Hinkley welcomed playing a virtual final before the finals proper.
“It’s ideal to play against quality,” he said.
“We’re still learning lots of footy things and when you get to play against quality, and when the stakes are high, obviously it brings out the best in both teams.
“And we’re going to face a really, really tough test from the Fremantle side next week.”
Hinkley couldn’t find any fault with Port’s trouncing of the Blues before 52,505 spectators – a record crowd for an AFL match at Adelaide Oval.
The win – 20.20 (140) to 5.7 (37) – was Port’s biggest-ever against Carlton.
And Port held the Blues to their lowest score against the South Australian club.
“I’m not going to lie – nothing disappointed me,” Hinkley said.
“I was really pleased with the way they played for four quarters.
“I liked their ruthlessness and the way they went about it. It was really good, the players were strong.”