Jack Watts and Charlie Dixon celebrate a goal on Sunday. Picture: AFL Media
Jack Watts and Charlie Dixon celebrate a goal on Sunday. Picture: AFL Media

Hinkley confident Gray will avoid ban

KEN Hinkley believes superstar Robbie Gray will be free to front in round one despite a collision that put West Coast's Jeremy McGovern out of business during the JLT opener.

The Power's two-point loss was further soured with Gray likely to face the Match Review Officer Michael Christian's scrutiny for a hit on Eagles defender McGovern in the first quarter.

It would be a massive blow for the Power to lose its All- Australian hero and forward/midfielder on the eve of the season having recovered from testicular cancer.

"I haven't seen much of it, and it looked like both guys came together at the same time. We will wait and see what happens," said Hinkley of Gray.

"Robbie is not that sort of player and Jeremy and he were both going for the ball pretty well.''

Ken Hinkley is confident Robbie Gray will be free to play Round 1. Picture: Getty Images
Ken Hinkley is confident Robbie Gray will be free to play Round 1. Picture: Getty Images

Hinkley appeared to draw similarities with Richmond skipper Trent Cotchin's finals hit on GWS's gun Dylan Shiel with the Tigers skipper avoiding a grand final ban.

"I think I saw one like that late last year in a final. You go hard at the ball," said Hinkley.

"It is always a concern if you have any player in doubt and we don't want any player not available for round one."

The Eagles again pipped the Power and tore open the wounds of the home elimination final loss.

Hinkley says the Power has time to refine problem areas and noted the sticky conditions caused fatigue.

"The rivalry continues after last year's final, they got over the line.

It was pretty scrappy as would have been expected in the conditions, a yellow ball in daylight," said Hinkley

"We have a lot more to work on as Adam Simpson would have said with the Eagles."

Hinkley lauded Dom Barry's impressive debut - upstaging fellow recruits Steve Motlop and Jack Watts.

Steven Motlop was quiet for the Power on Sunday. Picture: AAP Images
Steven Motlop was quiet for the Power on Sunday. Picture: AAP Images

"He did some nice things early. Hopefully he gets a few opportunities," said Hinkley of Barry.

"I thought we did some nice things in the first half and then it got scrappy. Fatigue took over and that's what happens this time of year," said Hinkley.

"We didn't score as well as we would have liked but neither side could. I think that has been the challenge. We play a side with similar style, both sides failed to convert as we would have liked."


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