Port Adelaide don’t have a discipline problem despite losing a third player in three weeks to AFL suspension, coach Ken Hinkley says.
And Hinkley says he won’t carpet the latest player to be banned, backman Tom Jonas, who was suspended for three games for a bump on St Kilda’s Dylan Roberton last weekend.
Jonas follows Kane Cornes and Justin Westhoff in being suspended.
Cornes last week was outed one match for a behind-play blow on Hawthorn’s Sam Mitchell, while Westhoff was banned the week prior for striking Essendon’s Cale Hooker.
But Hinkley said he was only troubled by the Westhoff incident.
“The Westy (Westhoff) one was the disappointing one and I make no bones about that,” Hinkley told reporters on Thursday.
Jonas crossed a fine line between being aggressive and playing outside the laws, he said.
“Everyone knows the rules and the risks involved with the bump so we’re very mindful of that,” Hinkley said.
“But you have also got to be, as a coach, able to say he’s playing an aggressive style of football that you want him to play.
“At times, if you do go a little bit close to the edge, it (suspension) is probably going to happen.
“And we don’t want to have people suspended … we want everyone available to play. But it’s a contact game and there is going to be occasions where you can’t control some of it.
“It was a collision that was almost unavoidable to … I don’t think you can stop that – you have got to promote your players to play hard footy.”
Hinkley dismissed a suggestion that the three suspensions were evidence of discipline problems at Port, who host Brisbane on Sunday.
“I would have thought the opposite for us – certainly as a team, we totally understand what is expected of each other and they don’t want to let each other down,” he said.