Ken Hinkley (left) and Connor Rozee celebrate a win over St Kilda during round 16, 2024. Picture; AFL Photos/Getty Images

PORT Adelaide has given its embattled coach Ken Hinkley a reprieve, beating St Kilda by two points in an error-filled clash at Marvel Stadium.

Port defender Aliir Aliir was mighty in the last quarter as the Power held on to win Sunday's match 8.14 (62) to 8.12 (60).

SAINTS v POWER Full match coverage and stats

The Power broke a three-game losing streak to stay in the top eight, while the Saints are mired in the bottom four with a 5-11 record.

"It's been a tough week ... they (his players) have stuck together," Hinkley told Fox Sports, a week after Port fans booed him after the Brisbane Lions thrashed them by 79 points at Adelaide Oval.

"I don't feel frustrated, I feel flat with the way we've been playing."


Power midfielder Jason Horne-Francis was best afield, while Aliir and fellow key defender Brandon Zerk-Thatcher repeatedly saved their team in the last quarter.

The Saints kicked the only two goals of the final term and Jack Higgins had a set shot late in the game.

But he inexplicably tried to snap his kick and did not make the distance.


Port went on a four-goal run in the first term, sparked by an outstanding centre clearance and running goal from Zak Butters, and they took a six-point break into quarter time.

A great kick from Jackson Mead and a solid shepherd from Darcy Byrne-Jones set up Horne-Francis, who kicked a superb goal on the run to level the scores at halftime after a tight second term.

The game became an error-filled scrap in the third quarter, with neither side able to kick a goal for 19 minutes despite plenty of chances.


After the Saints had kicked three behinds and Port had sprayed four, St Kilda star Jack Sinclair had the kickout.

Sinclair was high among the Saints' best, but he inexplicably passed to Power second-gamer Logan Evans, who was mobbed by teammates after kicking the first goal of his AFL career.


Jeremy Finlayson then had a booming shot from 50m to give the Power a 13-point lead at the last change.

Rowan Marshall kicked three majors for the Saints, but key forward Max King struggled and only managed two behinds.

St Kilda made a late change, bringing in ruckman Tom Campbell for Seb Ross, while Brad Hill went off in the last term with a hip problem.


Saints look better with two rucks
For the second time in as many games, St Kilda ruck Tom Campbell received a late call-up to the starting 22. While Ross Lyon has always resisted calls to play a second ruck in a supporting role to Rowan Marshall, St Kilda’s structure has looked better with the two big men. Campbell’s inclusion frees up Marshall to spend more time forward, with the North Ballarat product kicking three first-half goals to almost singlehandedly keep the Saints in the game against Port. With Max King clearly down on form, Marshall’s aerial ability becomes even more important up forward.

Where there’s a Wilkie
It’s been a bleak couple of years for the Saints, but the emergence – and sustained excellence – of Callum Wilkie has been a bright spot. Recruited as a mature-aged recruit out of the SANFL in 2018, on Sunday Wilkie broke the Saints’ consecutive games record after not missing a game since his debut. The 2023 All-Australian and St Kilda vice-captain was reliably solid in game no.124.

A pressure-relieving win for Port
Pressure had been building on Port Adelaide coach Ken Hinkley amid an up-and-down season, but Sunday's win released the valve a little. After being booed by supporters after last week's loss, it was clear how much the win meant to Hinkley as his emotions came to the fore. 

ST KILDA                   3.3     6.6     6.10     8.12 (60)
PORT ADELAIDE        4.1     6.6     8.11     8.14 (62)

St Kilda: Marshall 3, Clark, Wood, Hill, Sharman, Higgins
Port Adelaide: Butters, Lord, Bergman, Narkle, Mead, Horne-Francis, Evans, Finlayson

St Kilda: Sinclair, Wanganeen-Milera, Marshall, Wood, Steele
Port Adelaide: Horne-Francis, Rozee, Butters, Farrell, Aliir

St Kilda: Brad Hill (hip) 
Port Adelaide: Todd Marshall (hamstring)

St Kilda:
Seb Ross replaced in selected side by Tom Campbell
Port Adelaide: None

St Kilda: Cooper Sharman (replaced Tom Campbell in the third quarter)
Port Adelaide: Will Lorenz (replaced Todd Marshall in the third quarter)

Crowd: 18,052 at Marvel Stadium