Port Adelaide coach Ken Hinkley has conceded his side lacked basic toughness in their 71-point trouncing from Collingwood.
On a bright Saturday afternoon at the MCG, the Magpies flicked a switch on the Power and delivered Hinkley’s men a brutal reality check.
The Power lost contested possession (-57) and clearances (-13), and were even behind in the tackle count (-18), as Collingwood mauled their opponents around the ball.
“You can’t win any game of football when you’re minus-50 or whatever we were (in contested possession),” Hinkley said.
“It just reeks of ‘not tough enough’. That’s what it reeks of.”
Hinkley was at a loss to explain the debacle after Port Adelaide’s convincing contested possession and clearance wins in a comprehensive 54-point victory over the Brisbane Lions in round one.
“No one expects (those inconsistencies) and no one wants them but the reality is that’s AFL football,” Hinkley said.
“We get a glimpse of it every round and get a glimpse of ups and downs, massive swings, and we got one today.”
Hinkley declared unbeaten Collingwood the competition’s early season benchmark.
“We came to town thinking we were a genuine chance and we got it handed to us,” Hinkley said.
“We didn’t cope with it, so it’s a great opportunity for us to do something about it.”
One silver lining for Port Adelaide was the return of Travis Boak, who entered the game as a substitute early in the third quarter.
Boak finished with 11 disposals and two clearances on limited minutes in his first game back after recovering from fractured ribs.
“It was good to get him out there and get some minutes into him,” Hinkley said.
“Clearly he’s been underdone and we’ve been mindful of that.
“He’s quality for us and he’ll be better for the run, as we will be hopefully as a team.”
Hinkley said Boak is a strong chance to be in Port Adelaide’s starting side for the round-three clash with cross-town rivals Adelaide.
Scott Lycett is also expected to be fine after a poke in an eye from a Collingwood player, while Connor Rozee was cleared of concussion during the match.