Connor Rozee and Travis Boak after the round two match between Richmond and Port Adelaide at the MCG, March 24, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

KEN HINKLEY didn’t need to mention the significance of the occasion at half-time. Not many players have done more – or meant more – to Port Adelaide Football Club than Travis Boak. 

The Power trailed by 17 points in the second quarter and were two goals down at the main break. A day of planned celebration wasn’t going to plan at that stage. 

Then Port Adelaide kicked the first four goals of the third and fourth quarters, kicking 13 second-half goals to coast to a win and ensure the 35-year-old was carried off the MCG in style after his 350th game. 

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"There is absolutely no doubt, to celebrate a milestone as great as Travis Boak's was today, you needed a win," Hinkley said on Sunday night. 


"Now, we can say that now because we have the breathing space of having a win, but it would have been hollow for Trav to be our games record holder, a champion of our football club, so committed all the way through to the Port Adelaide Football Club, to play his 350th game at the MCG (and lose). 

"I think Travis deserved a victory, but you don't always get what you deserve in life. 

"I was so proud of the way he handled the whole week and the way the boys responded for him in the second half. Forget everything else, they wanted to make sure Travis went off a winner."


Along with Sydney and Essendon, Port Adelaide was one of the most active clubs in last October’s trade period after exiting the 2023 finals series in straight sets, losing to Brisbane and Greater Western Sydney.

Power list manager Jason Cripps addressed two clear areas of concern at Alberton, signing two key defenders in Esava Ratugolea and Brandon Zerk-Thatcher, as well as two ruckmen in Ivan Soldo and Jordon Sweet. 

Soldo was the star in round one and held his own against his former club on Sunday, while former Essendon backman Zerk-Thatcher produced one of his best games yet to limit the influence of All-Australian key forward Tom Lynch. 

"We identified what we needed – Jason did and he went and found them – hopefully we can maximise what they bring to us," Hinkley said.


"It is very early, but we've seen a pre-season with them together, we know the growth is going to come, but AFL footy is really tough; it’s not always going to be straight up. For us, it's a matter about learning about them and them learning about how we play, you can’t do that in four games of football and a pre-season.

"Zerk-Thatcher was outstanding I thought behind the footy for us, Ivan Soldo really gave us a look inside the contest. Some of the things we've done in the off-season, we got some good reward for today."

Port Adelaide defender Lachie Jones is expected to be available for next Saturday night’s game against Melbourne at home after suffering a corked calf in the first quarter and playing on until Dylan Williams replaced him in the third quarter. 

Jason Horne-Francis might miss another week after missing the trip to Victoria due to a hamstring injury.


New Richmond coach Adem Yze has endured a tough start to life as a senior coach, dropping his first three games in charge after joining the Tigers at the end of last season, but injuries have played a role, including on Sunday when Maurice Rioli became the sixth change to the side that lost to Carlton last Thursday night.

The 46-year-old said he was proud of the Tigers' effort in the face of adverse circumstances, with the club forced to make five other changes – Dion Prestia (hamstring), Tylar Young (concussion), Josh Gibcus (ACL), Nathan Broad (calf) and Jacob Hopper (knee) after round one.  

"We're going through a bit of adversity at the moment," Yze said.

"Guys getting sore at training, but in the end we've got to go with a no-risk attitude, regardless of win-loss. For guys like 'Broady', if there is any risk in playing them, we just can't, they are too important to us. with Maurice, if you're not 100 per cent, we've got fresh players. 


"We're going through a little bit, but in saying that we've come up against two quality sides in Carlton and Port Adelaide and I feel like when we have played our best footy in patches, we can take it up to the best sides. There are elements of our game that we’re really proud of."

Rioli is expected to be available for next Saturday’s game against Sydney at the MCG, along with Young and Broad. But Hopper is set for knee surgery on Monday and at least a fortnight on the sidelines. 

"'Hop' is going to go in tomorrow for a look inside his knee," Yze said.

"He might be out for two weeks. He might have a bit of a cleanout. 

"He could have tried to push his way through it, but he is too important. He needs to be able to train and get on top of that. But we are thinking a couple of weeks."