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Finals-bound Power 'taught a lesson' by superior Dockers

Post-match: Power Watch Port Adelaide coach Ken Hinkley's post-match press conference
Justin Westhoff of the Port Adelaide Power flies for a mark behind Michael Walters of the Fremantle Dockers during the 2013 AFL Round 22 match between the Fremantle Dockers and Port Adelaide Power at Patersons Stadium, Perth on August 24, 2013. (Photo: Daniel Carson/AFL Media)
Justin Westhoff flies for a mark against Fremantle
We got beaten tonight by a genuine top-four side, and they taught us a lesson in pressure
Port Adelaide coach Ken Hinkley
PORT Adelaide coach Ken Hinkley believes his side deserves to be playing finals football despite being "taught a lesson" by Fremantle in a 74-point loss at Patersons Stadium.

Hinkley's young side suffocated under the Dockers' insatiable pressure but the first-year senior coach didn't believe the defeat should detract from Port's overall achievements.

"We rightly deserve to be a part of the final eight," Hinkley said.

"We've qualified in our own right and that's a really pleasing thing for us. 

"It would have been nice on the back of being able to play a bit better tonight, but that's not the case.
 
"I went in and just told the boys 'that's AFL-style pressure football'. That's what the best teams are able to do to you and we have to learn from that."

Hinkley was adamant the loss was not detrimental to his side's chances in September.

"We're not going to limp in. We're going to keep trying to improve," Hinkley said. 

"What we have to understand is we got beaten tonight by a genuine top-four side, and they taught us a lesson in pressure. 

"That's OK. The mistake we'll make is if we don't take the lesson. We'll take the lesson on board and we'll try to improve."

Hinkley was full of praise for the Dockers and was not surprised by the quality of their performance.

"The Dockers have been the absolute best in the competition all year over here," Hinkley said.

"They are incredibly well coached. Ross (Lyon) has got them playing really strong, defensive football, and the pressure - it’s a buy-in from everyone."   

Star youngster Chad Wingard was subbed out in the third term but it was just a precautionary measure from the coach. 

"He was a little sore," Hinkley said. 

"The game was clearly gone so I wasn't going to take any risks with Chad Wingard.

"It's just a common sense decision."