Aussie Rules


Port coach wary of Brisbane star Neale

Port Adelaide coach Ken Hinkley knows he's not alone in grappling with the AFL's big question when playing Brisbane.

How do you stop the Lions' prime mover Lachie Neale?

"Every side in the competition has tried and I don't think it has been very successful at any stage," Hinkley said.

Neale's output looms large in Sunday's Adelaide Oval twilight fixture between fourth-placed Lions and seventh-placed Port.

The star Lion is averaging 32.4 disposals a game in a stunning season and, in Brisbane's round three win against the Power, collected 43 possessions.

But Hinkley appears set to back his midfield collective to nullify Neale rather than deploy a specific hard tag.

"We try to stop those (star) midfielders every week, unfortunately sometimes they get away from you," he said.

"Our midfield group, we back them in against other midfield groups.

"And sometimes it works for you and sometimes it hasn't worked for us.

"Clearly a couple of our most recent losses, we haven't been able to control the opposition's best midfield player that well, so it's a challenge."

Hinkley said Brisbane's sustained excellence this season proved the Lions were worthy of their top-four status.

"If you look at their whole season, their body of work would suggest that they're a really good side," he said.

But the Power coach was also bullish about his team's prospects despite not being able to bank consecutive wins since rounds five and six.

"They're a really talented group who have got opportunities in front of them," Hinkley said.

"And they have got to take those opportunities and us collectively as a club, we have to make those opportunities count.

"The competition suggests at the moment that we win and we lose (then) we win and we lose, so that is just the reality.

"But we're not the only team in the comp ... that have had some problems winning every week, it's such an even competition."

--End of article--


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