Shepparton News

Hinkley backs his defenders

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Adelaide: Port Adelaide coach Ken Hinkley smiles at the mention of the supposed knock on his side.

Despite the wildly successful recruitmen­t of Aliir Aliir, Port’s lack of size in key defensive posts is considered, by some, a weakness.

Particular­ly when up against Geelong’s attacking tandem of Tom Hawkins and Jeremy Cameron in tonight’s qualifying final.

And especially when the Cats kicked the highest score – 17.12 – against Port this season, with Cameron slotting five goals and Hawkins four.

Hinkley has heard the size argument for years now. He points to the scoreboard: his side’s sustained seasons of defensive excellence.

This season, Port’s defence ranks third; last year, they ranked second.

“There’s two incredibly talented tall people in that Geelong forward line who any side will struggle with at times, with Hawkins and Cameron, they are great players,” Hinkley said.

“Those challenges are real. But we are a well organised team and well drilled defensive team who can cope more often than not, and have shown that we can cope more often than not.”

The 103kg, 198cm Hawkins, in his 300th AFL game, will likely be pitted against Port’s 90kg and 191cm Trent McKenzie. And the fleetfoote­d 96kg, 196cm Cameron could be manned by Power skipper Tom Jonas (90kg and 188cm).

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