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

PORT Adelaide's midfield is about to face the ultimate AFL test, coach Ken Hinkley says.

Hinkley rates Melbourne's onball brigade as the best in the competition ahead of Saturday night's clash against the Demons at Adelaide Oval.

"It's going to be hard, isn't it - great midfielders going at each other," he told reporters on Friday.

"Melbourne has got to be close, I would have thought, to the best group of mids together when you think about the quality.

"(Christian) Petracca and (Clayton) Oliver and (Jack) Viney and (Tom) Sparrow and Max (Gawn) ... it's a pretty formidable group that we're up against."

Clayton Oliver and Christian Petracca embrace during Melbourne's win over Hawthorn in round two, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

Hinkley anticipates learning much about the development of his star-studded batch headed by captain Connor Rozee, vice-captain Zak Butters, Brownlow medallist Ollie Wines and ruck recruit Ivan Soldo.

And he also hopes his club can celebrate another milestone which he described as, in some ways, as significant as Travis Boak's 350th game last weekend.

Power forward Todd Marshall will play his 100th AFL game in his eighth season.

Marshall, who grew up in Deniliquin in NSW, was recruited from the Murray Bushrangers with pick 16 at the 2016 national draft.

Todd Marshall celebrates a goal during the R2 match between Port Adelaide and Richmond at the MCG on March 24, 2024. Picture: Getty Images/AFL Photos

In October 2017, his mother died from cancer. And in April the following year, his father passed away.

"We talk about those milestone games to the playing group ... so I was reflecting on that and going 'gee, how big was Trav's effort to get to 350'," Hinkley said.

"(But) I'm not sure you could have many more challenges than Todd has faced and to be able to achieve 100 games is remarkable.

"I shouldn't, but I probably do reflect that it's being very similar to what Travis' milestone was last week ... because I've been a part of Todd's story so closely.

"Incredibly pleased for him, but it's also just a part of his journey.

"I've had great confidence, as have all of our coaches, in what Todd's ability was going to be able to allow him to produce at AFL level.


"He's starting to become the player that we all want him to be.

"And we still expect that in some ways the next 100 (games) will be even better again."

Melbourne, without injured key defender Steven May, will also mark a milestone with Viney to play his 200th AFL game.