Port Adelaide coach Ken Hinkley doesn’t expect Tom Jonas to cop any retribution from West Coast players when the defender lines up in Saturday’s AFL clash at Adelaide Oval.
Jonas was suspended for six matches last year after collecting Andrew Gaff with a crude elbow to the head while the Eagles midfielder was running with the flight of the ball.
Gaff was knocked unconscious by the hit, sparking a huge melee as angry Eagles players bolted in to remonstrate with Jonas.
Jonas copped widespread criticism after the match, with many people labelling the strike as a thug hit.
But Hinkley believes both teams have moved on from the incident.
“No I don’t expect there’d be anything in it from them,” Hinkley replied when asked if he expects Jonas to cop some extra lip.
“I mean, that’s their decision, not ours.
“Tom is a pretty ferocious ball player most of the time, and he made a mistake last year. That’s pretty simple. Done and dusted from Tom.”
West Coast and Port Adelaide sit a win adrift of fourth spot with 4-2 records, making Saturday’s clash a crunch encounter.
Port Adelaide have been bolstered by the return of captain Travis Boak, while the Eagles will give ruckman Nathan Vardy (elbow) and midfielder Liam Duggan (corked thigh) late fitness tests.
If Vardy fails to come up, he’ll be replaced by rookie Fraser McInnes.
West Coast have been battered in the ruck department, with Nic Naitanui (knee), Scott Lycett (knee), and Drew Petrie (hand) battling long-term injuries.
It’s left Jonathan Giles as the lead ruck option, and the Eagles have mostly lost the hit-out battle this year.
Giles and Vardy face a challenge to curb the influence of mobile Power ruckman Paddy Ryder, but Hinkley said it would be unwise to assume his team would simply dominate the area.
“We don’t go in with any of those thoughts. It’s silly,” Hinkley said.
“You never think you’re going to get an advantage in one area or the other.
“Because if you go in thinking it’s going to (fall your way), you might get caught out.”
West Coast have won four of their five matches at Adelaide Oval.
Eagles spearhead Josh Kennedy has booted a combined 12 goals in his past two matches at the venue, and Hinkley knows last year’s Coleman medallist will be hard to stop.
“He’s an unusual one isn’t he. I think he’s only been off the ground twice for the year, which is an amazing number,” HInkley said.
“Hopefully we can limit the damage.”