Disaster is probably the best word to sum up last Saturday night for Port Adelaide as Essendon absolutely annihilated the Power to the tune of 70 points. For all the good work and improvement Port Adelaide claims to have made this year they find themselves in a logjam with five other sides currently sitting on six wins.
Finals are still firmly on the agenda but the manner of the loss to the Bombers was most concerning. Having now lost three of its last five games it seems the ideal time for the coaching staff to make a statement that the worst performance of the season will not be tolerated.
The comments made since the Bombers debacle suggests the Power coaching staff is thinking differently with Ken Hinkley declaring after the loss “I reckon I'm going to back them and say: 'You know what? That's a little unusual for us. Every team in the competition's done it (dropped a game it shouldn't have). I'll back them in to respond”
Making change for the sake of change is one thing but with almost a full list available and a 128 point victory for the Port Magpies last Sunday plenty of players should be in the frame for AFL selection. Dougal Howard certainly did his chances of a call up no harm with eight goals and the consistent performances from Joe Atley must be rewarded. At this stage Aaron Young is the only player Ken Hinkley has declared will earn a recall.
The Power has various senior players in form that could be best described as patchy. Showing faith in players is a trait Ken Hinkley has demonstrated since he has been senior coach and while it is noble he wants to support his players it can dangerous when you start picking players regardless of form.
Maybe now is the right time to send a message to someone like Hamish Hartlett or Jasper Pittard their performances against the Bombers deserve a stint in the SANFL.
Port Adelaide should win this week against the Lions regardless of whether they make no change or ten. A win against the bottom placed team is not going to prove anything. But making some unforced selection changes will go a long way to convincing supporters the club is truly learning from past mistakes.