Port floored by Lions' AFL 'upper-cut'

Power coach Ken Hinkley admits his team got 'a bit of a whack' in the AFL defeat to Brisbane Lions.
Power coach Ken Hinkley admits his team got 'a bit of a whack' in the AFL defeat to Brisbane Lions.

Port Adelaide coach Ken Hinkley says he now has a better idea of where his AFL team stands after their four-game unbeaten streak was dramatically halted by a Gabba "upper-cut" on Saturday.

The Power (4-1) still comfortably hold top spot on percentage over Brisbane (4-1) but will return to Adelaide on Sunday licking their wounds after a 37-point trouncing in the top-of-the table clash.

The visitors had won both their previous games during their Gold Coast hub stay, last week's defeat of West Coast a statement of sorts as they shot to outright first after four rounds.

But the Lions produced their best game of the stunted season, winning 12.13 (85) to 6.12 (48) behind 10 different goal-kickers, Harris Andrews' shutdown of Charlie Dixon and more dominance from their midfield stars.

Port will enjoy a week at home before returning to play the Giants at Metricon Stadium on Sunday, but Hinkley was disappointed to fall so far short in their final test before departure.

"Tonight we were given a good upper-cut," the coach said.

"It's no surprise to play Brisbane at the Gabba and get on the end of a bit of a whack; they've done that the last year-and-a-half to a lot of teams.

"We had an opportunity to come up against a really good side on their home deck and we found out we have a little bit to go.

"We'll go back, we'll reset and venture back up here (next Sunday) ... for another great contest."

Port were first to the ball in the opening term but kicked six behinds and just one major before the Lions turned the screws.

A six-goal second term was built on dominance from the centre bounce, with Travis Boak's 17 contested possessions the lone hand as the hosts otherwise dominated.

"On the Gabba, if you lose centre bounce badly it puts your backs under pressure," Hinkley said.

"We didn't get enough scoreboard pressure (in the first quarter), but let's not miss the fact that physically we got out-muscled a bit around the footy."

Australian Associated Press