PORT Adelaide skipper Travis Boak nearly shed a tear while chairing retiring teammate Kane Cornes from Adelaide Oval on Sunday night. 

The game didn't go to plan; Port was supposed to honour the 300-gamer with the sweetest of victories not slump to a 33-point loss to Richmond.

Disappointment was etched all over the captain's face has he stretched in the Power's change rooms and he scoffed at the suggestion the build-up to Cornes' retirement had overawed his side.

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As difficult to take as the loss was, Boak believed it was vital to celebrate Cornes' career and told AFL.com.au it was even more important to follow in his footsteps.

"It almost brings a tear to your eye because he's been such a huge part of this club and for me a huge part of my life," Boak said. 

"We've got to respect the great career that he's had and how important he was to this club – it's disappointing we couldn't send him off with a win but we still appreciate him.

"When I first came over here he was a guide for me, a real mentor and certainly most guys at this club really look up to Kane and what he's done.

"The mental attitude that he had for his teammates and for this club, we've just got to take that on from here and certainly we know that he's left a great legacy and we've got to continue that."

Putting the emotion of Cornes' retirement aside, the stark reality facing Boak and the Power is their 13th place on the premiership table. 

Sunday's game, with the missed targets, questionable decision-making and crossed signals, was another reminder of just how out of sorts the players are. 

Coach Ken Hinkley said he didn't know how far away Port's best football is and Boak didn't either.

Both remain firm, though, that the Power's path remains true and that by working diligently at training their return to form would simply prove a matter of time. 

"It's really just not clicking at the moment, certainly our form's not going to turn overnight; we had a great week on the track [this week] but we knew it might not happen straight away," Boak said. 

"We've not going to give up, we're not going to sit back and give up on the year. 

"We've got a fantastic group who knows where we want to go, what standard we want to set – we stick to the things that helped us turn it around and eventually it's going to turn."