Port Adelaide have been dodging bullets all AFL season – but now, they’re starting to hit says coach Ken Hinkley.
Richmond are the latest to find Port’s target, upsetting the Power by 33 points at Adelaide Oval on Sunday.
The Tigers rose into the top eight after Jack Riewoldt’s four-goal haul inspired a gutsy 11.10 (73) to 5.13 (43) victory.
“It was a mature a win that I have seen at our footy club,” said Richmond’s six-year coach Damien Hardwick.
The Tigers were never headed, spoiling the retirement party of Port stalwart Kane Cornes, who played his 300th and final AFL game.
The result leaves Port precariously placed: the pre-season premiership fancy have lost three in a row and are a lowly 13th with three wins and five losses.
Hinkley admitted Port’s confidence was dented but retained faith in his players to save their season.
“If you lost trust, everything can just disappear forever. And that is not going to happen with us. I am not going to lose trust,” Hinkley said.
“I’m more worried about what happens now, how we actually react.
“This is not the only time we have been in a bit of a hole … but we have got great pride at this footy club and we will fight back.
“I have got great belief in this group and I won’t lose that. I will never lose that.”
Port’s celebration of Cornes’s stellar career fell flat – they were goal-less in the first quarter; trailed by 23 points at halftime; were 13 points down at the last change.
Richmond and Riewoldt then expertly snuffed out any hope of a Port fightback by booting four goals to one in the last term to leave Port with their lowest-ever score under Hinkley.
“I said we were dodging bullets after round three. And unfortunately some of them have landed now and they have hit us where it hurts,” Hinkley said.
The Power found few winners – captain Travis Boak collected a game-high 32 disposals while Robbie Gray and Cornes had 28 touches each.
But they were overwhelmed by Riewoldt, Brett Deledio (28 disposals, one goal), Brandon Ellis (30 possessions, one goal), Dustin Martin (29 touches, one goal), Shaun Grigg (26 touches) and Anthony Miles (26 disposals).