Preview Round 8: Essendon vs Hawthorne, Docklands, Saturday 07/05/22 @ 7:25 PM


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Tier 1 WW Player
Jan 11, 2007
AFL Club
Other Teams
Coburg Lions, All Boston sides
Last Week

Essendon: The scoreboard flattered Essendon in the end, going down by 32 points, with inaccuracy inside 50 a feature for the Dons. Mason Redman was a standout off half back with 29 disposals and 4 rebound 50's, whilst big forward Peter Wright continued his strong form against the Dogs with 4 goals pretty much as a lone hand up forward for Essendon.

Hawthorne: The Hawks kicked the last 3 goals in the last quarter to give the undefeated Melbourne a scare but ultimately lost the game by 10 points, inaccuracy costly for them too. Dylan Moore impressed in a move up the field with 33 disposals and a goal from half forward whilst Jacob Koschitzke kicked 4 as the main forward.

Head to Head (last 5)

Essendon 3-2 Hawthorne

Form Guide

Essendon: 1W 4L
Hawthorne: 1W 4L

Possible sides

Essendon vs Hawthorne

FB: Denver Grainger-Barrass - Sam Frost - Blake Hardwick

FF: Nick Bryan - Peter Wright - Nick Hind
HB: Will Day - James Sicily - Finn Maginness
HF: Matthew Guelfi - Jake Stringer - Archie Perkins
MF: Harry Morrison - Tom Mitchell - Chad Wingard
MF: Sam Durham - Andrew McGrath - Nic Martin
HF: Luke Breust - Jacob Koschitzke - Lachlan Bramble
HB: Dyson Heppell - Brandon Zerk-Thatcher - Jordan Ridley
FF: Dylan Moore - Mitchell Lewis - Jack Gunston
FB: Jake Kelly - Zachary Reid - Mason Redman
OB: Max Lynch - Jai Newcombe - James Worpel
OB: Sam Draper - Darcy Parish - Jye Caldwell
IC: Daniel Howe - Jaeger O'Meara - Josh Ward - Jack Scrimshaw
IC: Ben Hobbs - Dylan Shiel - Jayden Laverde - Zachary Merrett
MS: Jarman Impey
MS: Tom Cutler

Essendon in: Hind, Bryan, Zerk-Thatcher; out: Nik Cox (groin), Alec Waterman (omitted), Kaine Baldwin (omitted)

Hawthorne in: Lewis, Grainger-Barrass, Morrison, Ward; out: Conor Nash (hamstring), Connor MacDonald (managed), Liam Shiels (omitted), Jackson Callow (omitted)

Hawthorne defence vs Essendon forward line

So far Essendon have kicked a goal 22.35% of the time it enters their forward 50, 11th in the AFL. Hawthorne's defence has been reasonably storng, conceding a goal only 22.06% of the time it enters their defensive 50, 6th in the AFL. The main clash up here will be between Sam Frost and Peter Wright, the big don having kicked 17 goals so far in 2022 as the main man, whilst Frost has been solid if unspectacular in defence as the main defender. James Sicily enjoys playing Essendon and will likely get the match up on Jake Stringer, who has struggled with injury so far this season, a crucial part of the bombers forward line.

Midfield/rucks battle

The two sides have been weak in the midfield, Essendon being 17th for contested possession difference and 15th in clearance difference whilst theHawks have been 15th and 18th for those particular areas respectively. Darcy Parish has come under some recent criticism for racking up disposals without damaging the opposition recently and will get a big chance to change that, and should receive a but more support on the inside from guys like Jye Caldwell and Archie Perkins, whilst Hawthorne will be looking to Tom Mitchell to shoulder the load on the inside alongside Jaeger O'Meara, with Jai Newcombe and James Worpel providing ample support on the inside. Outside, Essendon will be hoping Sam Durham and Nick Martin continue to make an impact heading inside 50 whilst Harry Morrison and young Josh Ward will be the guys to help Hawthorne transition from attack to defence. Rucks wise, Sam Draper has had a recent return to form and will be happy to see Max Lynch, who he has a strong record against in past VFL meetings.

Hawthorne forward line vs Essendon defence

Hawthorne's forward line has been pretty strong, kicking a goal 26.46% of the time it enters forward 50, 4th in the AFL. Essendon's defence has been very leaky, conceding a goal 27.75% of the time it enters defensive 50, which is dead last in the AFL currently. Two game player Zach Reid looked at home last week against the Western Bulldogs, and could be paired with Brandon Zerk-Thatcher to match up on twin towers Jacob Koschitzke and Mitchell Lewis, two of the best young key forwards in the AFL right now, whilst Jayden Laverde will probably find himself lining up on a very good medium forward in Jack Gunston, who's consistency is a feature of Hawthorne.

X-Factor Player

Nick Hind has speed to burn and could see himself playing forward this week against the Hawks to reset his form after a short spell out of the side, will be a tricky match up for the Hawks

Key stat

Essendon: Goals/inside 50 conceded. This has been a huge issue for the dons, their defence is leaky and the Hawks have a strong forward group.

Hawthorne: Contested Possession difference. It's a weakness and if they fail here they could be looking at 1 win from 6 games.


Stats say Hawthorne but * that, Essendon by 27
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All Australian
May 31, 2010
AFL Club
Initial thoughts are;-

OUT: Baldwin, Cutler (SUB)
IN: McDonagh, Shiel


Laverde Reid Kelly
Redman Ridley McGrath
Durham Shiel McDonagh
Martin Cox Guelfi
Stringer 2MP Waterman

Draper Parish Merrett

Bench: Perkins Caldwell Hobbs Heppell
SUB: Cutler


Premiership Player
Nov 5, 2010
AFL Club
Other Teams
Packers, Bucks, Pens, M's, Chelsea
Early week crow - take it as you will

Hepp Out - Cox to his position
Cutler to the wing
Baldwin back to the seconds - missed lots of footy to come in and make an impact - Hind inside F50
Get Perkins in the middle for 10% CB - give him a taste. His delivery is streets ahead of McGrath, Shiel and Parish right now and we get no advantage for 6-6-6
Shiel has to come back in - we have little to no options - but rest him on the bench when he needs a breather
Ham or Hird Sub

We don't have great depth
Flipper or Stewart back in would help us - but not so much that we need to rush them back


Club Legend
Sep 9, 2017
AFL Club
Other Teams
A.C. Milan
A couple of weeks ago, Dawks fought back from 50 down to lose by 1.

I WISH we should that fight! We would of gone on to lose by 80+ in the same situation.

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Mr Mojo Risin

Norm Smith Medallist
Jul 15, 2008
AFL Club
Other Teams
Celtics, Colts, Renegades
I wish we had the depth (and balls) to drop Parish and Merrett for lack of defensive running (and leaving Shiel out), even if it meant we get thumped. I'm well beyond sick of coaches getting blamed for player effort.

Instead we have to hope they get the message in the senior side when they haven't gotten it before. Additionally we need more forward pressure.

OUT: Shiel (sub), one of Baldwin or Waterman and Heppell.
IN: Francis (replaces Heppell in defence) and one of Hind or Hird for more forward pressure.

I don't necessarily want Heppell dropped as we need senior players and I feel he has been burnt by lack of pressure upfield, but I want Francis in his spot and really can't see where else he can play or who else should go out for him.

Phat Toni

Club Legend
May 5, 2008
AFL Club
Other Teams
Spurs & Storm
Out: toothless zone defence
In: Man to Man effort

Lav - Reid - Kelly
Reddog - Ridley - McGrath
Cutler - Perkins - Martin
Cox - Stringer - Parish
Guelfi - 2MP - Waterman

Draper - Merrett - Caldwell

Bench: Heppell - Shiel - Durham - Bryan
SUB: Hobbs

I rate Perkins, he is the long term A-Grader we need, time to up his midfield minutes rather than wasting away in a forward line with poor supply(both volume and delivery).

Would rather put Jones in but in his absence might as well run two ruckman, not like our forward pressure can be much worse.


Team Captain
Jul 26, 2009
AFL Club
Other Teams
Liverpool FC
Hawks way too committed to miss out on a meal, 54 points.


Club Legend
Feb 11, 2010
AFL Club
Other Teams
Manchester City San Antonio Spurs
I admire those of you who are still putting up potential team changes and best 22’s.

It doesn’t matter. Whoever they select can’t defend and can’t attack.

This will be a brutal watch. Hawks have rocketed past us. They play a game style that suits the players, and they play for each other and the coach.

Hawks by 10 goals +


Brownlow Medallist
Apr 23, 2016
AFL Club
Hawks have rocketed past us. They play a game style that suits the players, and they play for each other and the coach.

Almost 2 decades of system-based football hammered in to the playing group will do that. Rutten is trying to do now, what Clarkson was trying to do in 2005. Teach system based football.

Mitchell hasn't had to come in the revolutionise the wheel, or teach a senior playing group how to play to a system, he's got a much easier deal than Rutten does, and they're also fielding a side significantly more experienced than EFC is.

The Bomb

Norm Smith Medallist
Dec 17, 2010
AFL Club
Essendon to unleash all their 2-way runners which they have used all their 1st round draft picks on.
Maybe Essendon can unleash all their contested beasts on the weekend which they have recruited with countless top10 picks over the last 20 years.
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