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Port stars "most overrated in AFL"

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Former North Melbourne champion David King says a host of Port Adelaide’s top-liners are “the most overrated players in the competition”, challenging coach Ken Hinkley to teach them a lesson by swinging the selection axe when the team returns from the bye.

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The premiership player and prominent AFL analyst told FoxFooty’s On The Couch last night the Power were “embarrassing” in their loss to Fremantle on the weekend.

“They got beaten by 30 contested possessions (161 to 131) by Fremantle, who have struggled all year, let’s be honest,” King said.

He highlighted the performances of Hamish Hartlett, Justin Westhoff and 100-gamer Chad Wingard, who shared 11 contested possessions between them.

“They are better players than that,” he said.

“Some of those players are the most overrated players in the competition right now, and I think Ken needs to take a stand… he needs to set an example again.”

Hinkley has twice dropped former first-round draft pick Jared Polec this season, most recently before the Dockers loss.

As the recriminations continued at Alberton, Port captain Travis Boak delivered a damning assessment of Saturday’s loss, questioning the effort his side put in against the lowly Dockers.

Port’s finals hopes took a massive dive after the upset 17-point loss, a result that left them with a 6-7 win-loss record, and two wins and a sizeable percentage adrift of eighth spot.

The Power were smashed in the midfield and missed a glut of easy goals throughout the match, prompting Hinkley to slam his “spooked” side for blowing a golden chance to stay in the hunt for finals.

Boak said the result was a significant come down after a positive previous four weeks that included big wins over Melbourne and Collingwood and slim losses to the Western Bulldogs and West Coast.

It also gave Port some serious soul-searching to do over their bye week.

“One thing you can never question is effort, and on the weekend that was questioned,” Boak said yesterday.

“That was probably the one thing when we came off we said, ‘How did we get beaten by a Freo side that wanted to work harder than us?’

“That was really disappointing.”

Despite that, Boak was adamant the Power would not throw in the season and challenged the playing group to rediscover their “competitiveness and hunger”.

They next face Richmond at Adelaide Oval on July 1.

With a tough run home that includes clashes with Hawthorn, North Melbourne, GWS, Sydney and Adelaide, Boak knows they’ll need to lift significantly.

“Right now we look at ourselves in the mirror and go, `What is it we stand for? What do we expect from each other?’,” he said.

“They’re the hard questions we need to ask and demand from each other.

“We need to make sure that hurt drives us further now, because we can’t have performances like that.

“I still believe there’s so much this group can do.

“I don’t expect we should be top four or top two, I expect that we should be giving everything we can for the jumper each week.”

-with AAP

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