Tom Jonas during the round 23 match between Fremantle and Port Adelaide at Optus Stadium on August 20, 2023. Picture: Getty Images

PORT Adelaide's recent failure with concussion testing was a factor in the club making a "really cautious" decision to send captain Tom Jonas for a follow-up assessment in Sunday's win against Fremantle after a second-quarter head clash.

Jonas underwent and passed the head injury assessment (HIA) after colliding with teammate Ryan Burton in the first half of Port's 16-point win at Optus Stadium.

After returning briefly in the third quarter, however, he was removed from the clash again to undergo the longer SCAT5 concussion test after club doctors had reviewed vision and decided to be extra cautious. 

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Coach Ken Hinkley said he was proud of the club's approach on Sunday, having recently received a $100,000 fine after defender Aliir Aliir returned from a head knock against Adelaide and suffered concussion symptoms later, having not undergone the SCAT5 test. 


"We've lived a pretty poor experience just recently and we needed to make sure we didn't go through something anywhere near similar," Hinkley said after the important win, which kept the Power's top-two hopes alive.

"I was really pleased with the decision to do what we did. I thought it was really, really brave because we've been under the microscope for those things.

Tom Jonas after the round 23 match between Fremantle and Port Adelaide at Optus Stadium on August 20, 2023. Picture: AFL Photos

"We made a really, really cautious decision to make sure that we actually did everything we should have, because we want to lead the way with that now and we don't want to be causing any problems."

Hinkley said he didn't have all the information about why Jonas wasn't given the SCAT5 initially or at half-time, but the club doctor later said: "We need to make sure we take Tom off and do this concussion test for the player's safety. And we did that."

Half of the Power's $100,000 fine for the Aliir incident was included in the club's football soft cap, with the other half to be included if they made a similar mistake before the end of next season.


Burton was substituted because of a knee knock, rather than any result of the head clash, with Hinkley confident the injury was not serious.

Ruckman/forward Dante Visentini (quad) is expected to be available next week against Richmond, while Hinkley said key forward Charlie Dixon (foot), defender Trent Mackenzie (knee) and ruckman Scott Lycett (knee) were all pushing to prove their fitness during the pre-finals bye. 

The coach was pleased with his team's ability to soak up Fremantle's pressure in the hard-fought clash, with the Power's midfield gaining the ascendency through weight of numbers in a relatively even battle.


Fremantle coach Justin Longmuir lamented his team's poor conversion in front of goal, kicking 5.6 from set shots compared to their opponents' 8.2.

"It felt a bit like the Brisbane game and missed opportunities, and they just had a bit more class in their front half to be able to finish off their work," the coach said. 

"We just missed critical opportunities to peg them back in the in the second and third quarters, but also in that first quarter we missed a couple of set shots … so thought they just had to be more class to be able to finish their work.


"Overall, I thought the midfield battle was pretty even, it's just our mids probably didn't capitalise on their opportunities. I think a lot of the stats will say it was a pretty even game and they just had a bit more polish."

Longmuir was pleased with the contribution of mature-age recruit Tom Emmett, who kicked two goals on debut and showed courage and an ability to apply pressure in the forward half.

"I think he already had the bandage around his head at half-time or maybe quarter-time and that sums him up. That's why his teammates love playing with him because he puts it all on the line," Longmuir said.


"Not only every game but every contest. I thought he definitely showed he's up to the level. He finished his work off from his opportunities, and I think we got a taste of his application to the contest and his pressure.

"He's just been waiting for an opportunity, so one came up for him today and I think he took it, so good on him."