Port keen to even AFL ledger against GWS

If Port Adelaide coach Ken Hinkley has lost sleep over the last time his side faced GWS, he’s not letting on.

The plucky Giants handed Port their worst defeat of the AFL season in round four, piling on 22 goals in an 86-point drubbing at Canberra’s Manuka Oval.

At the time it was the Giants’ highest score and biggest winning margin since entering the AFL in 2012.

And they’ve only got better from there, breaking records and claiming the prized scalps of Hawthorn, Sydney and the Western Bulldogs.

A win against Port at Adelaide Oval on Sunday would solidify the Giants’ top-four standing and boost their chances of earning a home final.

But with ninth-placed Port desperate to claw their way into the top eight, Hinkley says the clash holds no fear for his charges.

“Last time is too long ago to worry about,” he said.

“It means absolutely nothing.

“I’m sure the Giants will have some confidence about the way they played but you know what the footy season’s like.

“Last Saturday can be different to this Saturday, let alone 12 weeks ago.”

Port have recalled wingman Jared Polec and tough midfielder Brad Ebert, who has recovered from a heavy fall two weeks ago that left him with bruised lungs.

Youngsters Jake Neade and Karl Amon have been omitted, while journeyman forward John Butcher has replaced injured star Charlie Dixon (ankle).

GWS have made one change, recalling speedster Nathan Wilson to replace injured midfielder Jack Steele.

Hinkley said he expected the Giants’ to provide a physical contest, highlighting the toughness of ruckman Shane Mumford and co-captain Callan Ward.

With gloomy weather forecast for Sunday’s twilight game, Hinkley said he would allow himself as much time as possible to consider late changes to suit the conditions.

“It does really bring it back to a close contest,” he said.

“It brings it back to a 50-50 game for both sides. Whether the punters are saying one’s favourite or one’s not, in those conditions it’s a little bit of luck.”

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