CHAD Wingard has made his name with his breathtaking talent and incredible highlight reel, but it was his willingness to sacrifice his own game against Collingwood that pleased coach Ken Hinkley most.
Hinkley sent Wingard to Collingwood captain Scott Pendlebury after a first half in which the Magpies champion racked up a match-high 20 disposals and threatened to haul them back into the contest.
Pendlebury had just three possessions in the third term as the Power went on a five-goal rampage through the middle of quarter to blow Collingwood out of the water on its way to a 31-point win.
"We put Wingard to Pendlebury in a run-with role – our most creative player of all – and he goes and puts some pressure on their captain, who was hurting us badly," Hinkley said.
"But Chad accepts a role and that's what this team is about at the moment. They're playing the role they need to.
"It's an outstanding thing to have. When you talk about a trademark football team (or) club, it doesn't matter who, it's just do the job and get it done – and that's what, as a group, they've been able to do more often than not this year."
Wingard the midfielder and five-goal star Robbie Gray, in an exclusive forward role after an injury interrupted pre-season, represent everything Hinkley is trying to do with his side.
They have each performed previously at an elite level in the other's current role, but Hinkley demands flexibility from his players.
Jackson Trengove mixes playing forward with backing up Paddy Ryder, who had a great duel with Brodie Grundy in his 200th game, but can also go into defence if required. Ryder is another capable of playing multiple positions.
And Justin Westhoff is a utility at 200cm: a forward, wingman and ruckman rolled into one.
"I would think you've got to maintain flexibility with all your group … that's really important for us," the coach said.
Hinkley also remains unashamedly proud about his backline's strangling ways. Port was the AFL's stingiest club through the first 13 rounds and kept the Pies to just 62 points – the sixth time this year it has conceded fewer than 70 points.
"When you hold a side to 62 points, you're not going to lose too many," he said.
"We are quite solid with our back six or seven. (We have) Jasper (Pittard) and Hamish (Hartlett), and (Matthew Broadbent) was out today, Tommy Jonas has been such a general down there and (Tom) Clurey (and Jack Hombsch).
"We like that group and don’t mess around with that too much."
The Power have now won three straight games at the MCG, where they were playing for the first time this year. Port's only other scheduled match at the venue is against Melbourne on July 22.
"We love playing at the 'G – any side probably does – and our record is pretty healthy at the moment," Hinkley said.
"The wide-open spaces play into our game a little bit and we do like to move the ball when we get a chance, but importantly we defended the 'G.
"If anyone's listening, we (wouldn't) mind a few more games (at the MCG), if they want to give them to us."