Patersons Stadium, Friday March 16, 9pm AEST
Regardless of near perfect NAB Cup form, the Hawks were unlucky to miss out on a place on Saturday night for silverware.
The Hawks’ footy looked fantastic against the Dees and Roos, free-flowing football executed with magnificent efficiency. They look potent and ready for a year they seek to challenge for the top prize.
The Dockers on the other hand were wasteful in their clash in their defeat to the Power in Victor Harbor last Saturday.
Inefficiency in front of goal cost the boys from the West, and they’ll be looking to rectify those mistakes. The result was further soured for Fremantle with promising youngster Lachie Neale needing to be assisted off the ground with a left ankle injury.
Jarryd Roughead is fit and raring to go after a long and hard road in rehab for his Achilles tendon in which he ruptured on a cold June night against the Cats last year.
With the injury to Max Bailey, question marks around the depth of the Hawks will be viewed closely if he has a successful run through.
After a flat 2009 and 2010, Roughead seemed to have re-adjusted himself playing a ruck role until the awful mishap. Can a return to this role be successful as the Hawks look to prove to the football world that 2008 was just not about being in the right place, at the right time?
Elsewhere, newcomer Jack Gunston will look to cement his spot in a potentially potent forward line. With David Hale booting six majors against the Dees and Buddy looking in career-best form (what was he doing beforehand then!?), this is Hawthorn’s final piece of the puzzle to work out.
Firepower in Franklin and Roughead pulled them over the line in 2008; so who will make up the final remnants of a side that looks to eye the major prize at seasons end?
Aaron Sandilands’ absence will be felt by the Dockers; arguably within the Top 20 players in the comp and one of Fremantle’s most important players.
Johnathan Griffin was brilliant last week, but the question remains whether he is good enough to sustain a part in Fremantle’s best 22 when Sandilands returns. Any opportunity he gets at senior level he should relish.
Micheal Barlow, David Mundy and Anthony Morabito all return into a side that sees Fremantle have it’s strongest possible combination of midfielders since the 2010 season. With Nathan Fyfe in suburb form and Greg Broughton running off half-back, the running and creative game-plan Ross Lyon has installed at the Dockers sees a side which is seeking to play positive football and go on the offensive; surprising the critics of Ross Lyon’s tactics at the Saints.
The Hawks and Freo both face Grand Finalists in the 1st round of the season, so it will be interesting in how seriously they’ll take this game.
The Dockers haven’t quite yet learned to move the ball through heavy traffic under Lyon and still need to convert their inside 50 entries better.
The Hawks look sharp and polished, with many players looking to cement senior selection. The Dockers will put up a fight, but Hawthorn will be too classy.
Hawks by 27.
1. Hayden Ballantyne, 3. Zac Dawson, 4. Jayden Pitt, 5. Garrick Ibbotson, 6. Greg Broughton, 7. Nathan Fyfe, 9. Adam McPhee, 13. Tendai Mzungu, 14. Antoni Grover, 15. Ryan Crowley, 18. Luke McPharlin, 22. Jack Anthony, 25. Josh Mellington, 26. Kepler Bradley, 28. Peter Faulks, 29. Matthew Pavlich, 30. Zachary Clarke, 32. Stephen Hill, 34. Lee Spurr, 37. Michael Johnson, 40. Matt De Boer, 41. Paul Duffield, 44. Jesse Crichton, 46. Clancee Pearce, 47. Jay van Berlo
2. Jarryd Roughead, 3. Jordan Lewis, 4. Matthew Suckling, 5. Sam Mitchell, 6. Josh Gibson, 9. Shaun Burgoyne, 10. Chance Bateman, 12. Brad Sewell, 14. Grant Birchall, 15. Luke Hodge, 16. Isaac Smith, 18. Brent Guerra, 19. Jack Gunston, 20. David Hale, 21. Shane Savage, 22. Luke Breust, 23. Lance Franklin, 24. Ben Stratton, 25. Ryan Schoenmakers, 28. Paul Puopolo, 29. Tom Murphy, 31. Jarrad Boumann, 33. Cyril Rioli, 37. Brendan Whitecross, 40. Broc McCauley
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