Power taught brutal AFL lesson by Freo

Aug 25, 2013 - 2:36 AM Port Adelaide coach Ken Hinkley is confident his team won't simply limp into this year's AFL finals series, but says fans shouldn't expect too much of the young side.

The Power were taught a brutal lesson about pressure football in their 74-point loss to Fremantle at Patersons Stadium on Saturday night.

Port Adelaide's fledgling squad struggled to match the intensity of the battle-hardened Dockers, with the Power managing just one goal in the opening half on the way to their biggest loss of the season.

Funnily enough, Port Adelaide's place in the finals was confirmed two minutes before the end of the match when Essendon upset Carlton in the corresponding clash at the MCG.

The Power round out their regular season against the Blues at AAMI Stadium next Saturday, before facing off against either Collingwood, Essendon or Richmond in an away elimination final.

Hinkley, in his first season as senior coach, said his players should be proud of their achievement in reaching the finals after managing just five wins in 2012.

But he acknowledged it could take several seasons before the Power would become a genuine finals force.

"What we have to understand is we got beaten by a genuine top-four side, and they taught us a lesson in pressure," Hinkley said after the 21.8 (134) to 9.6 (60) loss to the Dockers.

"That's OK. The mistake we'll make is if we don't take the lesson.

"We'll take the lesson onboard and we'll try to improve. But we won't improve in a week. Or two weeks. Or three weeks.

"This is a young team. As I've said before, it's the journey.

"It's going to take some time for us to be able to achieve the consistency of the top sides.

"But we're not going to limp into the finals."

Power star Chad Wingard was subbed out against the Dockers in the third quarter, but Hinkley said the move was merely precautionary.

"He was a little sore," Hinkley said.

"The game was clearly gone so I wasn't going to take any risks with Chad.

"It's just a common sense decision I reckon, that you wouldn't want to put Chad Wingard at risk at any stage if you've got bigger things to do."

Source: AAP

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