Friday, May 22, 2015

Preview, Hawthorn versus Sydney

Revenge is the catch cry dominating every grand final re-match

The media bangs on so much making one believe that a win in the proceeding Home & Away game can somehow make up for the Grand Final loss.

A load of old Codswallop!

As fans know, nothing can take away that heartbreak of a GF loss. As a long term Hawks fan, I can still remember every GF loss like it was yesterday. My therapist, if she weren't muted by patient confidentiality would attest to my angst over 1984 still raging 31 years on!

The only thought in both teams mind tonight is the present. Getting 4 points on the way to setting up a top two, or at worst top 4 position at the end of the season to set up the best chance at a Flag.

The Teams


B: Shaun Burgoyne, Brian Lake, Ben Stratton

HB: Grant Birchall, James Frawley, Josh Gibson

C: Bradley Hill, Sam Mitchell, Jordan Lewis

HF: Isaac Smith, Jack Gunston, Cyril Rioli

F: David Hale, Jarryd Roughead, Luke Breust

FOL: Jonathon Ceglar, Will Langford, Liam Shiels

I/C: Ryan Schoenmakers, Paul Puopolo, Matthew Suckling, 
Billy Hartung

EMG: Taylor Duryea, Jonathan Simpkin, Angus Litherland


B: Nick Smith, Ted Richards, Rhyce Shaw

HB: Jeremy Laidler, Heath Grundy, Dane Rampe

C: Lewis Jetta, Dan Hannebery, Harry Cunningham

HF: Kieren Jack, Lance Franklin, Jarrad McVeigh

F: Sam Reid, Kurt Tippett, Ben McGlynn

FOL:Mike Pyke, Josh P. Kennedy, Luke Parker

I/C: Adam Goodes, Jake Lloyd, Tom Mitchell, Gary Rohan

EMG: Sam Naismith, Daniel Robinson, Dean Towers

The naming of the Hawks team on Thursday saw the welcoming back of Isaac Smith, Jordan Lewis and Brian Lake giving the team an imposing look. The flip side of this was the omission of Taylor Duryea stood out like dogs balls. A real junkyard dog that loves the tough stuff and has been excellent this year.

There will be a late change allowing him to come in.

As for the Swans, the inclusion of Harry Cunningham is with an eye on either Brad Hill or Isaac Smith, who have sliced up Sydney in the past. He will tag one of them, likely Hill.

The Game

Looking at the lineups, one comes to this conclusion:

  1. Sydney will struggle to contain Hawthorn's attack
  2. Hawthorn, providing Lake plays has the defence to shut down Sydney's attack. A heavy emphasis falls on Buddy to dominate for Sydney with the other Sydney forwards not inspiring trust
  3. Sydney, particularly with Hawthorn's Captain Luke Hodge out has the edge in class in midfield.

The bottom line in all this is the game will be decided in the midfield. If Sydney dominates, it will allow them to nullify Hawthorn's lethal attack by skewing the speed and precision of delivery into the Hawk forwards. As well as giving their forward line a leg up against the Hawk backs.

Key in this will be the match-ups. The grand final saw the teams go head to head in the mids with Hawthorn dominating with the likes of Hodge, Lewis and Mitchell having a field day allowing their outside jets to scorch Sydney. One can see Longmire taking a page out of Port Adelaide's approach to Hawthorn with him placing a target on Sam Mitchell's head in the knowledge that he is the fulcrum for the Hawks midfield. Expect Kieren Jack to be Sam's second skin.

If Mitchell is shut out, it will place a huge emphasis on the lesser lights in the Hawthorn midfield like Liam Shiels and Will Langford to pick up the slack.

The ruck duels will prove decisive in support of the respective midfields with Sydney's Mike Pyke and Kurt Tippett pitted against the twin Hawk towers of Jonathan Ceglar and David Hale. On paper, the Hawks hold an ascendency here, particularly with a noted big game performer in David Hale back in the fray.


The Swan leaders versus the Hawk aggression

One thing stood out in the Grand Final in respect to Hawthorn being ruthless in the aggressive attack on the Sydney players bodies. Alastair Clarkson would have schooled himself that no one from Sydney made a stand against this with most cowering in the face of it. It largely condemned the Sydney leaders. Particularly after Brian Lake massaged Buddy's head into the turf after being out marked early in the game. One would have expected Swans to run from everywhere to remonstrate, but, not one even summoned a jog in Lake's direction.

Expect the Hawks to target a few with similar physical assaults tonight

The Swan small backs versus the Hawk small forwards 

Sydney's Nick Smith is a rightful All Australian small back and usually gives Cyril Rioli a nightmare match up. But, after this there are names such as Dane Rampe, Ryce Shaw, and Lewis Jetta playing as rebounding backs. They all rebound quite well, it is just a pity they cannot defend to save their lives.

Luke Bruest and  Paul Puopolo are likely to make merry against them

Likely tags and match-ups

A few stand out;

  1. One can see Sydney tagging Sam Mitchell with Kieren Jack
  2. Hawthorn will identify Luke Parker as a real danger man forward and will assign Ben Stratton to mark him
  3. James Frawley on Buddy with Josh Gibson zoning off running shotgun for Frawley
  4. A battle of the midfield guns with Sydney's Josh Kennedy and Hawthorn's Jordan Lewis going head to head
  5. The Sydney jets in Lewis Jetta and Gary Rohan pitted against the Hawk road runners in Brad Hill, Isaac Smith and Billy Hartung on the outside
  6. Hawthorn using Liam Shiels as a proactive tag on Dan Hannebery

Key Man- Jarryd Roughead

The big Rough is likely to be decisive in this game

I would love Clarko to play him in the middle in the early parts of the game and tell him to exert a similar physical presence like he did in the GF.

In doing so, eyeball Hannebery, whispering in his ear

' Remember me Dan..............hows your ribs feeling tonite?'


We have been patchy all season, but, I think this is the game where we flick the switch to overdrive

Hawks by 36

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