PORT Adelaide coach Ken Hinkley understands why injury-hit Richmond asked for their NAB Challenge clash to be abandoned early, but said he wouldn't have done it himself if placed in the same position.
In their final full-scale tune-up on Thursday night at Etihad Stadium, the Tigers suffered injuries to four key players, used just 15 players at times and were unsuccessful in a bid to have the game called off about 10 minutes before the final siren.
Hinkley, whose team won by 48 points, empathised with Tigers counterpart Damien Hardwick but said he would have asked his own players to simply get through the contest without further mishaps.
"No, I don't think so," Hinkley said when asked whether he would have requested the AFL bring an early halt to proceedings.
"It's a hard one because you don't sit in that seat and I can totally understand 'Dimma' is getting ready for round one," he told Melbourne radio station SEN on Friday morning.
"I think from a game point of view and respecting the game as much as I would like to, I think if I've got 17 or 18 fit players, I would be out there on the ground with them and say, 'You know what, this is not ideal but just hang in there, play the game out. Just control yourself a little bit more than you would normally do.'
"Purely from outside and looking at the game, I think you'd probably like to leave the numbers there.
"But there's a coach that's just had a midfielder, an outside mid, all sorts of (injuries), a hamstring, a concussion. (Hardwick) is just sitting there going, 'Mate, I just need to get out of this'."
Hinkley also believes the pre-season competition is too long and suggested it could be scrapped to create a more even draw in the premiership season.
The Power coach said clubs could still have an adequate preparation without playing warm-up matches against external opposition.
"Personally, I believe three is too many. You don't need three to get ready," he said.
"Most clubs use one of those games to field a really inexperienced side, and then the other times we've put together predominantly our most senior players who are recovering from some injury where game time's needed for them.
"We've managed it based around two games and I think probably it's about the right build up for us (because) you play so much practice-match football now, or match-simulation football."
Without a pre-season competition, Hinkley felt the premiership season could be lengthened.
"I don't think the competition would be drastically affected by it," he said.
"Does it give you an opportunity to play three more games (in the premiership season)? Does it mean that instead of playing five teams twice you're playing eight teams twice (and) all of a sudden you're getting closer to an even draw, (and) every second year you're playing every team twice.
"It sounds a bit easier than at the moment."
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