KEN Hinkley didn't have to look too deep into why Port Adelaide was smacked by Brisbane at the Gabba on Saturday night.
It had nothing to do with playing on the road, he said, it had nothing to do with missing injured veteran Travis Boak, but it had everything to do with losing contest after contest after contest.
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Brisbane won a fourth straight match against Port, this time by 49 points, and dominated all three lines on the ground.
It won the contested possession count 155-132 – a statistic Hinkley came back to repeatedly in his post-match press conference.
"We couldn't handle some of the contest stuff," Hinkley said.
"Whether that was in front, or behind or in the middle - it was all over the ground.
"We were nowhere near our best and the opposition was at their very best at what they were trying to do.
"We go back to work, we learn, we take the lesson. We don’t like the lesson, we don't like the taste of it, but we deserved it."
Ollie Wines flew the flag bravely in the middle of the ground, gathering 37 disposals, but he had few mates on a night the visitors seemed to miss Boak much more than Brisbane missed Brownlow medallist Lachie Neale.
Hinkley said he expected the veteran to return from a quad injury for next weekend's Showdown against Adelaide, but it was not guaranteed.
"It wouldn't have mattered if you had 22 Travis' out there tonight, we needed some support.
"Ollie I thought was amazing. He gave what he had. I think a few others could have jumped on with ‘Ol’."
Ryan Burton did not return after half-time, suffering a rib injury Hinkley said would be assessed in the coming days.
Brisbane coach Chris Fagan agreed it was his team's best win of the season, moving the Lions to 4-3 after three straight victories.
He praised the team's defensive effort all over the ground in limiting Port to just five goals from 58 inside 50 entries.
Fagan saved special mention for fullback Harris Andrews, who bounced back from having six goals kicked on him by Harry McKay last week to keep Charlie Dixon goalless.
"What I make of his response is that it was exactly what you'd expect from him.
"He's one of the finest characters I've met in football and was totally disappointed with his game last week.
"He responded like champion players do."