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Port axes veteran for Giants clash

Football

Port Adelaide veteran Tom Rockliff will be axed for Sunday’s AFL game against GWS.

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Rockliff and defender Riley Bonner will be dumped from Port’s side, with coach Ken Hinkley planning to summon Cam Sutcliffe and Ryan Burton, pending a fitness test on Saturday.

“We made a decision based on Tom’s form over the last two or three weeks, that he has just been not quite at the level we need,” Hinkley told reporters on Friday.

“No-one is immune from selection issues. If your form is not up to it, you can lose your spot in the side.

“Tom, he’s a stoppage player for us and he needs to influence the game for us around the ball and certainly last week we were beaten up badly around the ball.

“Tom was only one part of that but he is aware that his form has not been at the level he needs to be in the position he plays.”

Port suffered their first loss of the season against Brisbane last week, with half-back Bonner also to get the chop for Sunday’s clash against the Giants at Metricon Stadium on the Gold Coast.

Burton’s selection depends on passing a fitness test on Saturday – he has missed the past three games because of a knee injury.

The Power, for the first time in a premiership season, will fly on game day to the Gold Coast with players and staff to meet at their Alberton base at 5.30am Sunday.

“We will be fine doing it,” Hinkley said.

“As we have done all the way through, we will embrace it and take the opportunity.

“We will get there nice and early on Sunday morning and get up to Metricon and we will go there with a 3-0 record (at the ground) this year, so we go there with some great confidence,” Hinkley said.

Port had been based at a Gold Coast hub for the past three games before returning to Adelaide last Sunday.

-AAP

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