Ruck changes aid Port for Blues AFL clash
The AFL's ruck changes could give Ken Hinkley's side a big advantage in Port Adelaide's clash with Carlton at Adelaide Oval.
Port Adelaide coach Ken Hinkley says he's not disappointed to hear of Matthew Kreuzer's withdrawal for Friday night's AFL clash with Carlton.
The withdrawal of the Blues' big man due to soreness coincides with Power ruck Paddy Ryder's return to fitness.
It's a selection swing which could hugely advantage Port Adelaide (2-2) when Brendon Bolton's young side (1-3) arrive in South Australia.
But Hinkley isn't underestimating Carlton, who could have as many as 10 players in their 22 yet to celebrate their 21st birthday.
The rebuilding Blues have had the better of Port in tight affairs at the MCG in the past two seasons.
"They've been able to beat us the last couple of times. That in itself suggests to us we need to be at our absolute best," Hinkley said.
"It's a tough and even competition.
"There appears to be a couple of sides that are pretty dominant and then a wide open competition. We know that and respect that and will be out to play our most damaging football."
He pointed to Carlton's midfield as their chief threat to Port Adelaide banking four points on Friday.
"(Bryce) Gibbs, (Patrick) Cripps, (Marc) Murphy - they're three outstanding players," he said.
"They're rebuilding as a club but I look at that group of midfielders and go 'there's not too much rebuilding there'. I reckon they're a pretty strong midfield group and we'd all be pretty happy to have them," he chuckled.
Ryder will return in place of Matt White.
The Blues will throw in developing tall Andrew Phillips and debutant Cam Polson with sore duo Kreuzer and maligned utility Dale Thomas out of the side.
"I'm not disappointed (Kreuzer is out)," Hinkley said.
"That makes us rethink ... you lose something and you replace it with something. You don't play with 21.
"They'll have a ruck but he may not be quite as good as Matthew Kreuzer."
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