Coach Ken Hinkley says Port Adelaide were spooked and not brave enough – yet somehow still beat reigning AFL premier Hawthorn.
Hinkley’s Power held off a fast-finishing Hawthorn to win by eight points on Saturday night at Adelaide Oval.
Port streeted to a 58-point lead midway through the second term but froze late: the Hawks booted eight of the last nine goals to give Hinkley a scare.
“The coach, including the players, probably got a little bit spooked in the last bit,” he said.
“We just weren’t brave enough and that is not something we say about us too often.”
Port’s 15.9 (99) to 13.13 (91) victory came with one glaring statistic: Hawthorn won the inside 50-metre count 79 to 43.
Hinkley can’t remember ever winning a game with such a lopsided differential.
“That second half was crazy,” he said, referring to Hawthorn’s 46 attacking entries in the last half.
“But sometimes you find a way.
“We had lots of things (statistics) in the second half that we lost.
“But in the end we won the contested part of the game, and that is what we had to win.
“That (contested possession) was the only thing that we held on in. All the rest we got blown off the park.
“We won it in tight. We were able to win some crucial balls even late when the game was up for grabs – we stayed strong in the contest against a great competitive team.”