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Port promises to bounce back from brutal finals wipeout

Football

Port Adelaide captain Tom Jonas says a second successive AFL preliminary final failure will serve as motivation for the club as it attempts to come back “bigger and better” in 2022.

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The Power were comprehensively outplayed on their home deck in a brutal 71-point defeat to the Western Bulldogs on Saturday night, ending their premiership hopes.

The “bitter disappointment” followed a similar letdown for Ken Hinkley’s men last year, when they fell six points short of eventual premiers Richmond at the same stage of the season.

“We didn’t play our brand of footy, didn’t uphold the Port Adelaide identity,” Jonas said after the Bulldogs mauling.

“It’s a privilege to wear this guernsey and we just got well and truly outplayed.

“Two years in a row we’ve fallen short of where we want to be.

“We exist to win premierships, that’s the measuring stick.”

Jonas said he is proud of the playing group as it continues to develop under Hinkley, with a band of energetic youngsters, experienced campaigners and talented recent recruits seemingly capable of keeping the Power in premiership contention next year.

But while he believes in the players, coaches and high performance staff at Alberton, the third-year skipper concedes they will be starting from scratch again next season.

“We’ve all got a collective goal, we’re going in the same direction and we’ve got a desire to work hard and learn from our mistakes,” Jonas said.

“We’ll stick together through the good times and bad, and I know we’ll be back bigger and better in 2022.

“We’ll use (the Bulldogs defeat) as motivation to reload and go again. We’ve got the group to do it.”

Port Adelaide’s latest defeat left them with a 0-3 record in preliminary finals since Hinkley took over as coach in 2013.

-with AAP

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