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Port's defensive SOS goes out to former Giant Hombsch

Harry Thring  May 30, 2013 9:33 AM

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Former GWS defender Jack Hombsch will play his first game for Port Adelaide this weekend

We need a little bit more height down back and Jack at 193cm certainly provides us with that
PORT Adelaide is likely to bolster its ailing defence by giving Jack Hombsch his first game for the club since crossing from Greater Western Sydney last season.

Coach Ken Hinkley admitted the club has been stretched in defence with key back Jackson Trengove on the long-term injury list.

Last weekend, Geelong's big forwards Tom Hawkins and James Podsiadly booted 10 goals between them and were clearly too strong for  smaller opponents forced to try and play tall.

The Power have lost all four games since Trengove's injury in round five.

Hombsch played nine games for the Giants last season, before being traded to Alberton (along with small forward Jake Neade) for pick no. 29 at the 2012 NAB AFL Draft.

He flew out with the team for Darwin on Thursday morning, having found form playing for Sturt in the SANFL.

The 20-year-old had been on track to play in round one for the Power but an injury late in pre-season meant he had only recently been able to reach the standard needed to make his senior Power debut.

"We need a little bit more height down back and Jack at 193cm certainly provides us with that," said Hinkley.

"We recruited him for that reason, he has had some injuries that has stopped him from getting in the condition that we'd have liked him in three or four weeks ago when 'Jacko' (Trengove) did go down.

"Now we've got that chance to play him and hopefully he'll have a good game."

Hinkley's decision to retain forward John Butcher is likely to see ruckman Matthew Lobbe spend another week on the sidelines.

Lobbe was a late withdrawal (rolled ankle) before the Power's game against Geelong last weekend and was replaced in the line up by Butcher.

Jarrad Redden was the only recognised ruckman against the Cats, and will face one of the form big men of the competition in Bulldog Will Minson on Saturday night.

Lobbe travelled with the squad but Hinkley was blunt on his chances of playing, admitting the slippery, humid conditions in Darwin made it hard to play two ruckmen.

"We want to keep Butcher in the side which will make it hard to bring in a second ruck," Hinkley said.

"We've been up there before and I've been up there myself and it does get a bit greasier. You can't be too tall when the ball's probably going to spend significant amount of time on the ground."

Harry Thring is a reporter for AFL Media. Follow him on Twitter: @AFL_Harry.