87 Hink­ley lauds amaz­ing Gray

Sunday Herald Sun - - Afl - AN­DREW CAPEL ADE­LAIDE

EIGHT months af­ter be­ing di­ag­nosed with can­cer, Port Ade­laide star Rob­bie Gray said he had never been hap­pier af­ter a game than when the siren sounded last night.

“I don’t know if I’ve ever been that happy af­ter the siren has gone,’’ said Gray, who be­came the fourth man to win three Show­down Medals af­ter pro­duc­ing a six-goal per­for­mance against the Crows.

“I’m just re­ally happy to be back play­ing footy.

“It has been a pretty big eight months for me and to be back do­ing what I love and get this re­sult, it’s great.

“The emo­tion I felt when that siren went is right up there with any­thing across my footy ca­reer, so it was cer­tainly a spe­cial one.”

Gray, 30, turned the game on its head with five thirdquar­ter goals.

Port ap­peared gone just be­fore half­time when it trailed by 27 points be­fore small for­ward/ mid­fielder Gray kicked a goal just be­fore the siren.

He then kicked five goals in the third stanza to push his side 12 points clear at the fi­nal change.

“The ball just kept com­ing my way and every­thing just seemed to be click­ing,’’ said Gray, who was di­ag­nosed with tes­tic­u­lar can­cer the week af­ter Port was knocked out of last year’s fi­nals by West Coast in their elim­i­na­tion fi­nal.

“I was re­ally happy that I was able to fin­ish off and put it on the score­board,” he said. “It was even nicer to get the win.’’

Hink­ley said Gray’s per­for­mance, which included 20 dis­pos­als and five clear­ances, showed he was a mod­ern-day great.

“He plays all right, doesn’t he?’’ Hink­ley said.

“Where he rates is not up to me to de­cide, but he is a great player. If you ask me he’s the best player in the league tonight be­cause he kicked six in a Show­down and we win by five points.

“You don’t do what Rob­bie’s done, a three-times be­stand-fairest, All-Aus­tralian and Show­down medal­list with­out be­ing a great player. It’s pretty sim­ple.”

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