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Hinkley backs 'Pepper' to spice up Power

Lee Gaskin  April 20, 2017 12:05 PM

AFL 2017 Round 04 - GWS Giants v Port Adelaide

Sam Powell-Pepper struggled last week against flag fancies GWS

I think he's doing what most younger players do, they come in and certainly get hold of what the game is about and they get challenged a little bit

PORT Adelaide is keeping faith with explosive youngster Sam Powell-Pepper ahead of Friday night's clash with Carlton at Adelaide Oval.

After a brilliant start to his AFL career, the 19-year-old had 16 disposals in the Showdown with Adelaide in round three and only eight possessions in last weekend's loss to Greater Western Sydney in Canberra.

"I think he's doing what most younger players do, they come in and certainly get hold of what the game is about and they get challenged a little bit," Power coach Ken Hinkley said.

"I expect Sam to respond again this week.

"He's a pretty proud and tough young man and he will bounce into the game confidently tomorrow night."

The Power have made just one change from the team that lost to the Giants, with ruckman Patrick Ryder returning from suspension with speedster Matthew White making way.

Hinkley said he would keep the faith with the side that is 2-2 after four rounds following back-to-back losses to premiership contenders in the Crows and the Giants.

"In the last two weeks we've played two really strong teams and have an accurate measure of what we need to do and where we need to go," Hinkley said.

"Whitey probably got in with a bit of luck because Paddy did something silly.

"Paddy was always going to come back in and Whitey was aware of what the situation was."

Ryder's return will allow Jackson Trengove to play in attack alongside key forward Charlie Dixon.

Trengove and Dixon will also give Ryder a chop-out in the ruck.

"We think we can use Jackson in attack," Hinkley said.

"I don't think there's an issue with using Jacko, Paddy and Charlie in a bit more of a three-way rotation.

"Our backs have done a good job over the first four weeks over some size at times, but it's the sum of the whole, not the individual, and that's the key for us."

Trengove had been used in the backline to cover the absence of key defender Jack Hombsch, who is set to return for next weekend's game against the Brisbane Lions.

"We're very hopeful (Hombsch) will be available," Hinkley said.

"I spoke to him Tuesday and he's progressing really well."