Hinkley defends Neale tactics

SEN - Tue, 16th Jul 2019 - 0 Comments

Ken Hinkley has defended his side’s tactics against Brisbane star Lachie Neale in Sunday’s 48-point loss to the Lions.

The Port Adelaide coach told Fox Footy pre-game that the Power were planning to "terrorise" the star Brisbane midfielder.

The focus on Neale backfired, however, with the Lions slamming on the first seven goals in what turned out to be a hugely disappointing day for the club.

SEN Afternoons host Andy was "gobsmacked" by Port's targeting of Neale.

"It was bizarre," Maher said.

"I was gobsmacked with what I saw in the first 15 minutes from Port Adelaide.

"They just completely forgot about playing footy."

Speaking on SEN SA Breakfast, Hinkley said the situation has been blown out of proportion.

"He was tagged tightly, which he's been tagged like before," Hinkley said.

"There was one free kick I think paid against us on the Lachie Neale situation… outside that there wasn't much else.

"They (Brisbane) protected him as well as we tried to play a strong aggressive brand of football against a really damaging player.

"We didn't play outside the rules very often, I wouldn't have thought."

Neale's former Fremantle teammate Cam Sutcliffe was given the role on the gun Lions on-baller, but he wasn't the only Port player that paid close attention to one of this year's Brownlow favourites.

Tom Rockliff and Dougal Howard both gave away 50m penalties for off-the-ball hits on Neale in the first quarter, leading to an Alex Witherden major.

Hinkley admitted the Power probably won't employ a similar tactic this weekend when they face Richmond.

"It's one we wanted to look at and it's one we wanted to explore and see where it went," said Hinkley.

"We look at the mix and we look whether it worked successfully for us and at the moment our first thought would be it didn’t quite work."

Port Adelaide sits one win outside the top eight as they travel to the MCG to take on the Tigers on Saturday afternoon.