With some viewing the eventual cliffhanger where Hawthorn triumphed by 3 points due to them putting the cue in the rack at three-quarter time allowing the late surge by Port. Others saw it as typical of Port in the finals, coming with a Kiwi like run to swamp their opposition at the death. Only a miracle Luke Hodge smother and a curious umpiring decision denying them.
The conjecture over the result, and the legacy it has left will fuel the jets of the players with both intent of proving an ascendancy starting in the ANZAC Day clash at the Adelaide Oval.
B: Jack Hombsch, Alipate Carlile, Jackson Trengove
HB Jasper Pittard, Tom Jonas, Matthew Broadbent
C:Jared Polec, Brad Ebert, Kane Mitchell
HF: Brendon Ah Chee, Justin Westhoff, Chad Wingard
F: Patrick Ryder, Jay Schulz, Matt White
FOL: Matthew Lobbe, Travis Boak, Hamish Hartlett
I/C: Nathan Krakouer, Aaron Young, Angus Monfries, Kane Cornes
EMG: Jake Neade, Paul Stewart, Cam O'Shea
B: Shaun Burgoyne, Brian Lake, Taylor Duryea
HB: Grant Birchall, Josh Gibson, Ben Stratton
C: Isaac Smith, Sam Mitchell, Matthew Suckling
HF: Will Langford, Jack Gunston, Bradley Hill
F: Luke Breust, Jarryd Roughead, Cyril Rioli
FOL: Jonathon Ceglar, Luke Hodge, Jordan Lewis
I/C: Brendan Whitecross, Ben McEvoy, Paul Puopolo, Billy Hartung
EMG: Ryan Schoenmakers, Jonathan Simpkin, Jed Anderson
Matthew Lobbe inclusion for Port will have the dual effect of providing the team with a vastly underrated ruckman as well as freeing Patrick Ryder to play more as a full time forward. Offsetting this are the bitter blows seen in the loss of gun midfielders Ollie Wines and Robbie Gray. Both who have terrorised the Hawks in the past.
The Hawks have been strengthened by Brad Hill's inclusion
Three things stand out as I look at this game:
- The loss of Gray and Wines for Port are bitter blows that I cannot see them overcoming. It dictates the secondary mids who usually excel with the pressure that comes off them with oppositions needing to have such a focus on Wines and Gray to play a more primary role. I just cannot see this happening against a Hawks midfield that is sincere quality and has real depth.
- Watching Port this year took me back to us in 2009. After unexpected flag success in 08, teams studied us to the nth degree allowing them to dissect our triumph and counter us. Similarly for Port, after startling the competition in 2014, the magnifying glass has been put on them, and they have not been as effective. Expect the master coach Clarko to add the blowtorch as part of the pre-game dissection as well
- Lastly, there is a certain Roger Federer air about the Hawks in regards to both leaving exclamation marks when faced with rivals. I expect the Hawks to hum Metallicas 'Seek and Destroy' as they run out for the game with the aftermath seeing stronger terms than mere 'bullies' attached after they finish mauling Port in the body, mind, and on the scoreboard
Round 4 Focus Player- Taylor Duryea
I fully expect him to own Monfries.
A fully focussed Hawks outfit intent on making Port know their true place in the pecking order
Hawks by 40 points after putting their cue in the rack at three-quarter time....
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