Port face another tightrope test: Hinkley

Port Adelaide coach Ken Hinkley says his AFL players have proven they can survive on the proverbial tightrope.

But he says they must prove it again in Saturday’s crunch game against North Melbourne.

The Power sit three wins behind eighth-placed North entering the Etihad Stadium fixture and know a loss would cruel their finals chances.

“We have played well in this situation a number of times so we get an opportunity again,” Hinkley told reporters on Friday.

The Kangaroos have recalled three big guns – Nick Dal Santo, Jarrad Waite and Daniel Wells – for the season-shaping fixture.

“They had to bring them back this week, didn’t they,” Hinkley said.

“It’s good we get to play them – we know how good they are … you know what they’re capable of.

“So it puts you on a heightened alert that you have got to be at your absolute best. And we know that, it’s a team job that has to get done for us to successful.”

Ninth-placed Port are yet to beat a top-eight side this season and while Hinkley maintained his side was capable, it was time to prove it.

“It’s no good (saying) `we get close, we get near it, we think we’re good enough’,” he said.

“You have just got to do it.”

While North have slipped from top to eighth, Hinkley remained wary.

“They haven’t probably been at the level they were earlier in the year, (North coach) Brad (Scott) would probably admit that,” he said.

“But they’re in the eight and they are fighting.

“They’re one or two games from the top of the ladder, not nearly from the outside of the eight where everyone is trying to make it out to be.

“Their form is really good at their best, they won nine straight. They’re a good side.”

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