Paddy McCartin on the Sydney bench after being subbed out of the match against Port Adelaide on April 8, 2023. Picture: Screenshot/Channel Seven

SYDNEY defender Paddy McCartin suffered another head knock in the Swans' two-point loss to Port Adelaide on Saturday night, but the club won't know the severity of the former No.1 pick's latest setback until next week. 

The 26-year-old was substituted out of the game just 10 minutes into the opening quarter after competing for a groundball with Power forward Todd Marshall, before being helped off the SCG in the arms of two trainers. 

Unlike his brother Tom, who was put through a head injury assessment in the second quarter before being ruled out of the second half with concussion, Paddy was immediately subbed out of the game.

Paddy McCartin was one of the best stories of 2022, returning from eight concussions at St Kilda and more than four years on the sidelines to resurrect his career in Sydney, playing 24 games for the Swans, including the Grand Final. 


Coach John Longmire said he spoke to McCartin after the game but wouldn't expand on any initial diagnosis. 

"He is OK, I just spoke to him," Longmire said post-game. 

"I think just after the game, let's take a deep breath."

While Sydney fell to 2-2 after Ollie Florent's set shot just after the final siren landed on the line and was swatted away by Aliir Aliir, the Power levelled their own ledger at 2-2. 

Port Adelaide coach Ken Hinkley was put under the microscope this week after the Showdown loss to Adelaide and was thrilled with the way his playing group responded, overcoming a challenging start against the wind to recover from 25 points down in the second quarter, then 20 points down early in the last quarter to seal a memorable win on the road. 

"Footy is good. It does all sorts of things to you; it sends you to all sorts of places. Ultimately you have to be willing to go to those places. As a footy club this week and as a team, we had to go to some of those places," Hinkley said. 

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"To come up here and play against a highly respectable opponent who we have such admiration for, in a hostile environment, with not everything going that great for us for a fair bit of the game, to hang in there, this team has a fair bit of character. 

"It wasn't a difficult week, it was a normal week in footy. The difficulty in some weeks is there is a bit more commentary around winning and losing, that's the game, that's what we face, that's always been part of it. Scrutiny happens; when you lose, you leave yourself open."


After coaching from the boundary for the first time in his 227 games in charge of Port Adelaide, Hinkley said the decision was on the back of the challenges the group had faced following back-to-back losses to Collingwood and Adelaide. 

"It was a moment this week we felt like we're working together and trying to stick together," Hinkley said. 

"I'd done it in the pre-season, so I had the experience at it, and I've seen lots of good coaches do it. The challenge is you can't quite see the game that well, but I thought it was really important this week to stick together. 

"I thought for me and the players to spend time together on the bench was pretty important. They showed their support all week, I wanted to return the favour and show my support."

Port Adelaide players sing the club song after beating Sydney in R4 at the SCG on April 8, 2023. Picture: AFL Photos

Hinkley won't allow Port Adelaide to get carried away with beating last year's Grand Finalists at home – and ending Sydney's nine-game winning streak at the SCG – but was thrilled with the manner in which his side won. 

"(It does) nothing. No, not nothing, it does a lot, because we need to take every win in this competition because it's so hard. But we can't afford to overplay one week to the next," he said.

"The hard part about last week is we lost the Showdown and we hate it, we hate losing Showdowns, but we played a good brand of football to within six minutes of the last quarter and the Crows beat us. 

"The game against Collingwood we played poorly, but our other two games we played high-quality opponents – no doubting we've played high-quality opponents – and in a tough competition we are two and two. We are breaking even at the moment. There is a long way to go."

Port Adelaide will now return home ahead of Gather Round, where the Power host the Western Bulldogs at Adelaide Oval next Saturday night.