Port doctor defended after Tigers' AFL win

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Coach Ken Hinkley has bristled at scrutiny over Port Adelaide's decision not to enact the AFL concussion protocol at a key moment of their loss to Richmond.

The Power hit the front early in the last term on Thursday, but the Tigers held their nerve for a 12-point win that returns them in the top eight.

But much of the focus after Richmond's 11.11 (77) to 10.5 (65) win was on captain Tom Jonas and teammate Zak Butters not having concussion tests after they clashed heads heavily on the wing.

Jonas and Butters returned to the field with bandaged faces only a few minutes after what Hinkley himself called "a hit", although Butters had to go to the bench for further treatment near the end of the match.

Hinkley strongly defended veteran Port doctor Mark Fisher's judgement in not putting the two players through 20-minute concussion protocols, under AFL guidelines.

The collision and its aftermath will reignite discussion in the AFL about concussion, which is a major issue throughout world sport.

"I have a doctor who's been with our footy club for 25 years and the conversation between our doctor and our football manager (Chris Davies) ... was these boys, they have no issue with concussion," Hinkley said.

"So if anyone has a challenge on that, and they feel more qualified than Mark Fisher ... feel free.

"But I think you need to be really, really sure that you're not trying to umpire or make some calls from outside the fence when you have no knowledge."

Hinkley said he spoke to Jonas and Butters immediately after the game.

"They both got bashed up ... (but) they weren't laying down and they weren't fainting, they weren't doing anything silly, they were talking to me very clearly - 'aw mate, I'm going to have a big black eye, but I'm pretty good'.

"They're tough players, too ... that's a hit, for those who don't think the game's tough."

Hinkley then bristled when asked if there would have been further assessment had the collision happened earlier in the game.

"I think you're questioning the doctor, because he made the decision not to do that. So are you questioning the doctor or not?" he said.

"Are you questioning a doctor of 25 years' experience, that he made a bad decision?

"Do you think a doctor of 25 years would take a risk with concussion, with the seriousness of the injuries that go on now with concussion? ... Do you want him to go back to medical school?"

Richmond kicked a goal moments after the collision and Hinkley was asked how costly it was to have the two players forced from the field, especially given Trent Dumont was already out of the game with a third-quarter calf injury.

"It's a collision ... they're never timely, they're never great," he said.

"In a close game, you need them out there, but gee, the game's played that way and we're not surprised that sometimes you get people with cuts."

In front of a disappointing Thursday night crowd of only 21,757, the Tigers lost the lead at the start of the pulsating final term before rallying for the win.

It puts the Tigers back in the top eight with a 7-5 record, while the Power drop to 5-7.

Liam Baker was outstanding for Richmond and his move into attack late in the game was crucial, while Port's Karl Amon had a game-high 29 possessions.

In his 200th game, Richmond co-captain Dylan Grimes blanketted Robbie Gray and at the other end, Port defender Ryan Burton was solid on Dustin Martin.

Richmond 18-year-old Judson Clarke had a dream start to his AFL career.

Clarke's first kick in the opening term was a goal and he kicked another a few minutes later.

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