PORT Adelaide's 11-point upset of ladder leader Geelong has given the Power the belief they can go toe-to-toe with anyone in the competition, coach Ken Hinkley says.
The Power rebounded from last weekend's final-quarter fadeout against Fremantle with an outstanding four-quarter performance to topple the Cats at Adelaide Oval on Saturday night.
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"That was the key message going into the game," Hinkley said.
"We have to play four, strong quarters.
"It's not going to be much fun against the Cats out there, but we knew if we could stick at it, we can match any team."
Hinkley didn't believe his team's performance was a response to dropping veterans Paddy Ryder and Justin Westhoff, along with young midfielder Sam Powell-Pepper.
Ruckman Scott Lycett thrived in a standalone ruck role with his best performance for the Power since joining the club from West Coast at the end of last year on a five-year deal, amassing 24 disposals, 18 contested possessions and 41 hitouts.
"I'm a little sad to be honest with the calls that we made, but I still have great belief and faith in the players that we left out this week," Hinkley said.
"It was good to see Scotty play the way he played as a ruckman, but our plan all year has to have one ruckman and another one who can play forward and chop out in the ruck, and tonight that was Dougal (Howard)."
Hinkley was pleased with the return of key forward Charlie Dixon in his first game in 316 days after badly breaking his leg and sustaining ankle damage against West Coast in round 21 last year.
He also praised the performances of defender-turned-midfielder Dan Houston, who had 26 disposals, including 11 contested possessions, and key backman Tom Clurey, who kept Geelong star Tom Hawkins goalless.
The Power (7-6) are back in the top eight and host the Western Bulldogs next Saturday night.
Midfielder Tom Rockliff – who injured his hamstring in the round 10 loss to Hawthorn in Launceston – is expected to return next weekend, but will have to come back through the SANFL.
"'Rock' knows he's been out of footy for a long period of time now," Hinkley said.
"The boys who played well tonight will get their opportunity again more likely than not.
"Our method now is if we can get you in a bit better touch before you come back, that gives you a better chance to succeed."