IT WAS a week that meant a lot to Port Adelaide, with coach Ken Hinkley describing himself as "more pleased than you'd know" after the side overcame a host of injury concerns to comfortably account for Carlton on Saturday night.
The Power are sweating on scan results that will determine the extent of a shoulder injury to important midfielder Dan Houston, while veteran Hamish Hartlett copped a significant corkie that hindered his impact during the 28-point win.
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Tom Clurey and Connor Rozee also played hurt, having suffered corkies of their own last week, though Port Adelaide shrugged off the adversity to cruise to victory on the back of a rampant six-goal third term.
Hartlett was forced to play as the side's deepest forward in the second half after his heavy collision, while Houston appears the more worrying fitness concern after being substituted out of the game at half-time with a shoulder problem.
"Obviously (Houston) has hurt his shoulder," Hinkley said afterwards.
"He's in a sling. He tried to come back on, but his wing was ineffective for him. As we do always, we'll pass on the correct information as soon as he's scanned. But I'd be guessing if I tried to tell you what it is now.
"Hamish did a great job. He copped a massive corkie. To be fair, we've had four of them in the last two games. Tom Clurey had one last week, Connor Rozee as well … we've had a number of boys have them."
Port Adelaide never looked troubled as it moved to 4-1 on the season, consolidating last week's momentous two-point victory over reigning premiers Richmond in fine style at the MCG.
The Power celebrated the win by coming together as one on the final siren, with captain Tom Jonas speaking to his group for an extended period in the middle of the ground before leaving.
According to Hinkley, his skipper's speech acknowledged the importance of the victory after it was recorded despite injury concerns, a road trip and the prospect of facing a Blues team coming off successive wins themselves.
"Tom recognised the week I reckon," Hinkley said.
"That's what good captains do, they recognise the moment. The moment was that we'd come off a big game and we have to be a side that over and over and over again keeps turning up. That's what good sides do.
"The very best sides in the competition, they've done that for a long period of time. We're starting to do that, so I'm really pleased and proud of the way Tom and Ollie (Wines) have led them."
Carlton, on the other hand, suffered a brutal reality check as its run of successive wins was abruptly ended by a quality Port Adelaide team that has genuine premiership ambitions this season.
Coach David Teague had said beforehand that his improving side had wanted to use this encounter as a test of its progression. However, despite breaking even in a number of key statistical indicators, the Blues were still left wanting.
With crucial encounters against in-form opponents including Brisbane and the unbeaten Western Bulldogs and Melbourne coming up over the next month, Teague believes his team still has a lot to prove.
"These are the games you want to play in," Teague said.
"You want to play in these games, you want to compete against the best. But, at the end of the day, you want to beat the best. That's what we've got to get to.
"Right now, tonight tells us we're not there yet. We get another opportunity next week against Brisbane, who just had a big win so they're in form. It's a great challenge for us and we can't wait for our fans to get out there and support us.
"We look forward to these challenges. You want to play the good teams, (but) we need to beat these teams to show our progression."