The Power trailed by 20 points midway through the last quarter but found an unlikely hero in long-kicking Jarrod Lienert.
Known chiefly as a defender in his 13 AFL games, Lienert sharked a clever goal from close range to give the Power the lead with a little over a minute to play, then sealed the deal with a long bomb goal after the siren.
Port, who beat Brisbane by 21 points in their first pre-season hit-out, will go into their opening-round clash against Gold Coast with confidence but with big forward Charlie Dixon (adductor) and ruckman Scott Lycett (ankle) needing to prove their fitness after being forced from the ground in the third quarter.
Power boss Hinkley said the club didn’t want to take any chances with Dixon, who had been looking a big danger, clunking some strong marks and booting 2.3 after kicking four goals against the Lions.
“He gave his groin a little bit of a knick but he’ll be fine,” Hinkley said.
The Bulldogs, who beat North Melbourne by 44 points in their first pre-season hit-out, also have high hopes for this season and with three goals in five minutes late in the third quarter were a strong chance to grab another win.
Josh Dunkley, Lachie Hunter, new skipper Marcus Bontempelli, Jack Macrae and big Tim English were all having an influence on the game. And former Saint Josh Bruce, playing his first game for the Bulldogs, had four goals on the board.
But the Power, with Travis Boak, Sam Powell-Pepper and Darcy Byrne-Jones in the thick of it and Todd Marshall looking dangerous up forward, booted five goals in the last 15 minutes to storm to an impressive win.
“It’s important to get a win,” Port veteran Boak, who picked up 29 disposals, told Fox Footy.
“I know it’s only a practice game but to finish off the pre-season in the right way and get a good win, it’s what we spoke about. We’ve trained really well all pre-season and we’ve put a lot of changes in our game plan.”
The Bulldogs’ Bruce was pleased with his four-goal performance. “It was good to get out there with the boys, it’s been a long summer,” he told the broadcaster.
“The wind was blowing a lot but we thought we might have had enough to hold them. It’s always disappointing to lose.”