Port brace for AFL test against Giants

Power coach Ken Hinkley (l) says it is too early to tell who will be this season's AFL standouts.
Power coach Ken Hinkley (l) says it is too early to tell who will be this season's AFL standouts.

Port Adelaide coach Ken Hinkley is treating this weekend's opponent GWS as the benchmark of the AFL.

But, he says, there is nothing unusual in that.

"I worry about every team we play against," Hinkley said.

"I treat them all as benchmarks because if we don't play well, we get beat.

"There is no (single) benchmark in this competition. It's a great competition against great sides every week.

"There is so much more to play out before we start identifying who are the better teams."

Sunday's fixture on neutral Gold Coast turf at Metricon Stadium pits two clubs with genuine premiership ambition.

The Giants, last year's beaten grand finalists, sit in seventh spot with consecutive victories taking them to three wins and two losses.

The Power are ladder-leaders with four wins and a loss, that defeat coming last week against Brisbane.

Hinkley reacted to that setback by dropping stalwart Tom Rockliff and defender Riley Bonner, with Cam Sutcliffe and Ryan Burton summoned as replacements.

Burton's recall from three weeks out because of a knee injury hinges on passing a Saturday fitness test.

The Giants have made one change from the side which downed Hawthorn by 34 points last weekend, with co-captain Callan Ward returning at the expense of Tom Sheridan.

Ward was withdrawn from last week's side because of soreness.

"No doubt Callan's excited to get back out there and it's great to have him back," Giants coach Leon Cameron said.

"He's had a full week of training and he's really starting to get going with his form since his return, so we look forward to his influence in the midfield again.

"Tommy's pretty unlucky to go out, he played his role really well in last week's clash but he'll go back and play in the reserves match on Saturday to try and fight his way back into this side."

Australian Associated Press