Major questions are being asked astir Port Adelaide manager Ken Hinkley aft his broadside were humiliated successful a location preliminary last by the Western Bulldogs.
Despite having a week disconnected to hole and playing successful beforehand of a location crowd, Hinkley's men were ambushed successful ruthless manner by a hungrier Bulldogs outfit.
The nonaccomplishment against the Bulldogs meant the Power became conscionable the 4th squad successful VFL/AFL past to suffer consecutive location preliminary finals, and the archetypal since the Bulldogs successful 1997 and 1998.
The seasoned manager was pictured with his caput successful his hands successful the aboriginal stages of the contention arsenic helium watched his players springiness their opponents a five-goal caput start, a shortage they would ne'er overcome.
Former Bulldogs guardant Nathan Brown suggested that Hinkley was astatine responsibility for his side's lacklustre start, pinpointing the baffling determination to commencement tagger Willem Drew connected the bench.
After holding clearance instrumentality Tom Liberatore to conscionable 17 disposals successful the Power's Round 23 triumph implicit the Bulldogs, Drew could bash thing but ticker connected arsenic Liberatore ran riot successful the opening minutes of the preliminary final.
"You've got to inquire the question of Ken Hinkley wherefore [Drew] started connected the seat erstwhile he'd done the occupation connected Tom Liberatore earlier that," Brown said connected Nine's AFL Sunday Footy Show.
"All of a abrupt they don't spell to him and he's mentally fresh, helium gets successful determination and gets the archetypal [clearance] retired to a precise important subordinate successful [Marcus] Bontempelli, truthful Bontempelli's successful the game.
"That's what helium does and that's what Willem Drew needed to stop, but helium didn't acceptable up for that.
"So however bash you expect everybody other to support erstwhile your manager doesn't support from the start?"
By the clip Drew entered the game, Liberatore had already collected 5 disposals wrong the archetypal 5 minutes of the game, but finished the lucifer with conscionable 19 touches arsenic the Port tagger shackled him aft the archetypal burst.
Brown's telephone came aft erstwhile Port Adelaide skipper Warren Tredrea besides questioned Hinkley's relation successful having his squad acceptable to play.
"You lone get blown disconnected the parkland from the archetypal bounce erstwhile you aren't mentally prepared for a ruthless contest," helium tweeted. "Port had nary excuses tonight."
"Indictment connected the players, but besides a cardinal relation of the elder coach."
Tredrea's Port teammate Kane Cornes suggested that different preliminary last loss, Hinkley's 3rd astatine the helm of the Power, volition enactment him nether unit adjacent season.
"There's that ten-year mark, which Ken Hinkley is going into adjacent year, without a premiership," helium told the Sunday Footy Show.
"That seems to beryllium astir the unwritten tenure for a manager if they don't get a premiership, we saw that this twelvemonth with Nathan Buckley aft getting truthful close.
"[Hinkley is] contracted until the extremity of 2023, but the unit is coming big-time."
Cornes' sentiment was echoed by starring AFL newsman Damian Barrett, who said "every facet of [Port Adelaide] choked".
"What happened past night, it wasn't conscionable connected the players, it's connected [Ken Hinkley], helium would cognize that," Barrett told the Sunday Footy Show.
"The discussions that present emanate retired of this catastrophe are going to beryllium precise intriguing.
"We cognize the backdrop of the nine needing to beryllium palmy [and] it yet hasn't been nether that watch.
"Everything was going close this year, they ended up getting it to a constituent wherever they had it connected their presumption and they perfectly blew it.
"We don't often usage this connection these days, but they did choke arsenic a shot nine past night. Every facet of it choked."