Port's true AFL test is coming: Hinkley

Steve Larkin
Port Adelaide are flying atop the AFL ladder after huge wins over the Suns, Crows and Dockers

They're top of the AFL ladder with a whopping percentage, but unbeaten Port Adelaide coach Ken Hinkley says the true test is coming.

Hinkley says Saturday's fixture against perennial power West Coast will give himself, and the AFL community, a glimpse of just where Port sit.

The Power have impressively put away lowly Gold Coast, Adelaide and Fremantle start their season.

But Hinkley rates the Eagles a genuine barometer, especially with the match to be fought on neutral territory on the Gold Coast.

"They're one of the leading teams in the competition," Hinkley told reporters on Friday.

"We have got a great opportunity to see where we're at a little bit. We know how good they are, they're a great side."

The Eagles, after an opening-round victory, have been thumped on consecutive weeks in Queensland, losing to the Suns by 44 points and Brisbane by 30.

In contrast, Port have banked a 75-point hammering of Adelaide and a 29-point win in the wet against the Dockers since the season restart.

The Power also beat the Suns by 47 points in round one, leaving Hinkley's charges top with an imposing percentage of 243.8 - and seemingly shedding the inconsistent tag which has dogged the club for years.

"We are certainly more reliable in the way we play," Hinkley said.

"It doesn't mean we're going to win every game or we're going to be brilliant in every game.

"But we look like a team that knows what they're doing a little bit more.

"And every day you train together and play together, you certainly learn some more.

"And that is the advantage of what some of the top sides have been over the last few years, they have been together for a good period of time and they know how to play together."

Hinkley will deploy the recalled Kane Farrell on a wing to replace Xavier Duursma, who will miss a month because of a hamstring strain.

The Eagles have responded to their successive failures by dumping four players - Will Schofield, Oscar Allen, Josh Rotham and Jack Petruccelle.

Star defender Jeremy McGovern returns from suspension with Tom Hickey, Tom Cole and Jamaine Jones also summoned. Jones will make his debut for the club after playing seven games for Geelong.