Patrick Cripps celebrates after a win during round 12, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos/Getty Images

KEN HINKLEY has admitted his side was "spanked" in the last quarter of its 36-point loss to Carlton on Thursday evening.

After Port Adelaide went into the final break trailing by just seven points, two quick Patrick Cripps goals kickstarted the Blues, and from there the Power simply couldn't regain control.

POWER v BLUES Full match coverage and stats

"(It was) solid until three-quarter time between both teams, and then (the Blues) went to another level, around the ball particularly, and they were able to go forward and score," Hinkley said post-game.

"They were just dominant in the last quarter… they dominated from ruck to ground, and to the first opportunity after that. They were better than us in the last quarter. It's hard to deny, isn't it? They spanked us there."


When the Power did have control, its inability to cash in on the scoreboard ultimately hurt it, kicking one goal from seven scores in the second quarter.

"It hurts you, no doubt about that. Scoring when you get your moments is pretty important," he said.

But Hinkley was measured in the face of a disappointing loss, pointing to his side's 8-4 record heading into the bye, and sitting third on the ladder with the remainder of the round to play.

"We're 8-4, we've played pretty well to this point, we're accurately where we are I think. We're in that mid-tier that's a big group of teams that are fighting. There's clearly one side that's standing out, the rest are trying to still sort it out," Hinkley said.

"On tonight's game we've got a lot more to do and a lot more to sort out."



The expected post-bye returns of Connor Rozee (ankle), and Willie Rioli (calf) are two positives for Port Adelaide, as was the performance of young key forward Mitch Georgiades who kicked four goals.

"He was really good," Hinkley said of Georgiades.

"I think he's been really, really promising this year. It is the positive that we get to reflect on Mitch and he's certainly getting better. He's very much a young forward who's starting to grow into a pretty dangerous forward for the opposition.

"We just need a few others to help him."


Meanwhile Carlton coach Michael Voss was pleased that his charges were challenged, and able to rise above it to snatch an important win.

Coming into the game, the Blues had won just one game at Adelaide Oval, and never defeated a South Australian side at the venue.

"We don't play the venue, we play the opposition," Voss said.

"I guess as part of our transformation as a team over the last two or three years, it feels like there's been a number of records that we've had to try and change… Wins like tonight I guess go in that bucket a little bit.

"It's just that nice little signature moment if you want to call it that, where a record that has been there, or a history that's been there, is not so much a factor anymore."


Carlton's ability to put the foot down in the last quarter to really take the game away from the Power was built on a willingness to adapt, as well as lean on leaders like Patrick Cripps and Sam Walsh.

"We're showing a great ability to be able to adapt at the moment. We're coming in at half time, we're looking at the game, we're seeing what we like, we're seeing what we don't like, and we've been able to change a few things," Voss said.

"We never, ever say that anyone steps up in big moments, but sometimes they just show themselves. And 'Crippa' as the captain did that."


Although some of the new interpretations of holding the ball went against the Blues, the adjustments are helping to improve the game according to Voss.

"There were a couple, and I thought for the better," Voss said.

Referring to two calls in particular, one against Charlie Curnow and another against Matthew Owies, Voss felt the adjudication was "safer for the player".

"In the current landscape of AFL football, with all the current things that are really important to us, that we say are important to us, I thought those two decisions were correct."