Errant kicking, more injuries and some poorly-timed administration have plunged Port Adelaide into a desperate bid to salvage their AFL season.
But a wry-smiling Ken Hinkley is adamant all will be okay after a 48-point loss to Brisbane set up a knockout semi-final in Adelaide against the plucky GWS next week.
The Power threatened a boilover at the Gabba on Saturday night when they rallied to lead in the second quarter and then again closed to within 10 points early in the third term.
But Brisbane, now unbeaten in 12 games at the venue this season, flicked the switch to surge clear for a 19.9 (123) to 11.9 (75) victory that earns them a week off before a preliminary final at the Gabba in a fortnight.
Headaches for Hinkley include an ankle injury to Trent McKenzie - the defender had come into the side for the injured Tom Jonas - and Dylan Williams (hamstring).
Both are doubtful to face the Giants at Adelaide Oval while hulking forward Charlie Dixon (foot) isn't guaranteed to return after missing the Lions clash.
The Power also let multiple early chances slip, the usually reliable Todd Marshall twice miskicking set shots from close-range that sprayed so badly they stayed in play.
Williams limped off "45 seconds after the paperwork was lodged" for Travis Boak to replace Darcy Byrne-Jones in a tactical substitution, leaving Hinkley with two injured men on the bench alongside a healthy one that couldn't return.
"We were lucky on Thursday (when McKenzie was cleared to replace Jones) and we're back to unlucky on Saturday night," Hinkley said.
"We'll have to make-do with what we have available and I'm optimistic that that's still strong enough and good enough.
"We played well enough and hit the lead against a team that hasn't lost on this ground.
"We'll be okay, we'll be fine.
"We earnt the opportunity to play again (by finishing in the top four); I'd prefer not to use it but we now get to and we'll be ready to go."
Port beat the Giants by 51 points in Adelaide a month ago, Hinkley sarcastically looking to the positives after their dominant 2020 and 2021 campaigns were both killed off in preliminary final losses that followed successful qualifying finals.
"It didn't work so maybe this is the right way for us," he said.
"We had no choice, but we're going that way. We'll give it a mighty crack and expect to play well and win."