July 17, 2019
Sports

Hinkley on defensive as Lions coach slams physical targetting of Neale

Brisbane coach Chris Fagan has hit out at Port Adelaide's premeditated, "over-the-top" physical tactics on star Lion Lachie Neale early in the Lions' landslide 48-point victory at Adelaide Oval.

Brownlow Medal prospect Neale appeared to be sporting several cuts on his arms after being vigorously tagged from the outset by Cam Sutcliffe – called up for his first AFL game of the season specifically for that role – and targeted physically at times by Tom Rockliff and Dougal Howard.

Running free: Lion Lachie Neale was 'pounded' by Port Adelaide players, says coach Chris Fagan.

Running free: Lion Lachie Neale was 'pounded' by Port Adelaide players, says coach Chris Fagan.Credit:AAP

But while the Power huffed and puffed, Brisbane calmly blew the home side over with the first seven goals of the match and are looking more and more like a genuine premiership threat every week.

"I thought it (treatment of Neale) was a bit over the top, to be honest," Fagan said.

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"He got pounded, didn't he?

"We sort of knew it was coming; that was the banter all week, wasn't it – Lachie Neale.

"I think Cam was in Lachie's wedding party so that would have been a bit uncomfortable for him (Sutcliffe) but he's got to do the job he's been asked to do.

"Lach handled it well and our team did too. We didn't go crazy and kept playing the ball."

Port coach Ken Hinkley told Fox Footy's David King before the match the plan was to "terrorise" Neale.

While conceding the Power 'misplaced' their aggression, subsequently causing them to lose focus, Hinkley makes no apologies for their hard-hitting intent.

Ton up: Charlie Cameron leads his team from the field after his 100th game for the Lions.

Ton up: Charlie Cameron leads his team from the field after his 100th game for the Lions.Credit:AAP

"We gave them a little edge. We don't make any apologies for being an aggressive football side, (and) we have to be an aggressive football side," he said.

"Clearly with Lachie Neale we were trying to defend him and slow him down for what he's done to us in the past. He's a player who's caused us an enormous amount of grief.

"I'm not going to back away from the fact we played strong, aggressive brand of football – that's what we need to do.

"Perhaps we got a bit of that wrong at the very start of the game but I'm not going to sit here and say we&#039Read More – Source

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