PORT Adelaide coach Ken Hinkley is proud of the way his team has rebounded from its dismal loss to the Western Bulldogs two weeks ago, saying Friday night's 22-point win over Hawthorn was a return to the "tough and ruthless" Port Adelaide way.
After the Power capitulated by 64 points to the Bulldogs in round 19, Hinkley said his team had "crumbled", and he wanted to see which players would stand up in the final four weeks of the home and away season.
If Port showed positive signs in its 21-point win over Greater Western Sydney last round, it returned to form reminiscent of its 2014 best against the Hawks.
Jumping the Hawks from the opening bounce, the Power played with their old verve and attacking ball movement to put the reigning premiers on the back foot.
Although the Hawks got to within one point at the end of the third term, Port was never headed and fully deserved its victory.
"I'm really proud of the team," Hinkley said.
"We're a pretty good footy club and we're pretty honest, and I said [I wanted to see who would stand up] a couple of weeks ago knowing that we would stand up and perform with some courage.
"I didn't know we were going to win (against Hawthorn), that certainly wasn't on the cards. I said to the boys two weeks ago, 'I just want you to play the way Port Adelaide plays', and that's tough and ruthless and going after the opposition as best we can."
Hinkley acknowledged it was frustrating to play such good football when it was now almost impossible to make the finals, but said Port had got what it deserved this season.
"We haven't been good enough all year, so we are where we deserve to be," he said.
"We played good footy tonight though, so we should be proud of that."
Hinkley praised Chad Wingard's ability to bounce back from a Luke Hodge bump early in the third quarter that appeared to cannon the forward's head into a behind post.
Although he took some time to regain his feet, Wingard recovered to pounce on a loose ball and goal about two minutes later, and then added another major soon after.
Wingard finished the game with 20 possession and four goals, a performance Hinkley suggested had "locked" him in for All Australian selection later this year.
But the Port coach said he had not seen the Hodge incident.
"'Hodgey' plays hard footy, I love that. Chad plays hard footy," he said.
"We love playing hard football teams, it's good for us, it's good for our development."
Patrick Ryder was outstanding for the Power against the Hawks, playing as their sole ruckman for the second week in a row in the absence of demoted partner Matthew Lobbe.
Ryder finished with 14 possessions, 40 hit-outs and three contested marks.
But Hinkley said he was still confident Port could be better side with both Ryder and Lobbe in its 22.
"[Ryder's] last two weeks have been pretty solid obviously, and he certainly played good football in that (sole ruck) position," he said.
"But I want to get 'Lobbes' and Paddy in the team playing well together, because I think that will make us more damaging when we get both of them being able to impact the game, not just in the ruck but as forward-line players as well."