Made worse with injuries transforming our defence into a set of junior giraffes bereft of any fit gorillas facing a team with a forward line of giants.
Usually, one would worry, but recent years have let you revel in the resilience of the Hawks when faced with any hardship. The associated feeling is the sleeping giant will finally awaken.
B: Ben Jacobs, Scott Thompson, Michael Firrito
HB: Shaun Atley, Robbie Tarrant, Sam Wright
C: Robin Nahas, Jack Ziebell, Ryan Bastinac
HF: Brent Harvey, Jarrad Waite, Shaun Higgins
F: Lindsay Thomas, Drew Petrie, Ben Brown
FOL: Todd Goldstein, Ben Cunnington, Andrew Swallow
I/C: Mason Wood, Jamie Macmillan, Kayne Turner, Sam Gibson
EMG: Trent Dumont, Aaron Black, Joel Tippett
IN: Jamie Macmillan
OUT: Trent Dumont (Omitted)
B: Burgoyne Gibson Stratton
HB: Birchall Schoenmakers Duryea
C: Lewis Mitchell Hill
HF: Smith Gunston Puopolo
F: McEvoy Roughead Rioli
Foll: Ceglar Hodge Lewis
I/C: Breust Hartung Shiels Suckling
Emergencies:, Whitecross, O’Brien, Litherland
In: Shiels, Shoenmakers
Out Whitecross, Lake
Looking at the teams, barring Daniel Wells, North looks to have near its best 22. Wells absence will be a relief for the Hawks for he always blitzes against us.
The Hawks have lost their defensive rock in Brian Lake, but it sets up an opportunity for the forgotten man Ryan Shoenmakers to come in and prove his value. The inclusion of Liam Shiels is a huge factor with him being an underrated key to our midfield.
It looks certain that Paul Puopolo will be a late withdrawal with most viewing Brendan Whitecross as his logical replacement. But, do not be surprised if Tim O'Brien comes in to add extra height to an undersized lineup
The lead up has been about how will Hawthorn deal with North Melbourne's big forward line.
In truth, this is the subplot of the clash with the game being all about the midfield battles and who wins out. If North prevails they will make merry by exploiting our under sized defence, but, if Hawthorn dominates they will skew the delivery into the North big forwards and kill them on the rebound. Bringing our lethal forward into play.
The key for Hawthorn will be controlling North ruckman Todd Goldstein, who is fast developing into an elite ruckman worthy of being seen as the best in the game. After being destroyed in the clearances last week, admittedly by a Port midfield that is of higher calibre than North's the last thing we need is for Goldstein to give their mids an armchair ride.
Counter to this is the Hawthorn midfield needing to lift. The inclusion of the vastly underrated Liam Shiels will be a huge fillip with him taking the emphasis of Will Langford, who has lost his lustre from the finals of last year. Shiels offers another big body who balances the midfield by his charismatic nature, equally adept as an inside or outside midfield employed in defensive or attacking roles.
If we can win the inside battles, it allows our outside jets in Hill, Smith and Hartung to burn on the outside and devastate. In the case of Hartung, in the early parts of 2015 it looks like he has taken another step and has all the hallmarks of becoming a very fine player
Round 5 Focus man- Jonathon Ceglar
The ex Pie has been excellent in 2015, but, this is like graduation day for him. With him faced by a high-quality ruck in Todd Goldstein in a duel that will be definitive. If he can control Goldstein, or even counter him it will go a long way to giving the Hawks the edge they need.
It will not be easy for the Hawks, but, when faced with hardship a champ always finds a way
Hawks by 21
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