Saturday, April 2, 2016

Preview, Hawthorn versus West Coast Eagles

Resilience is synonymous with greatness in all walks of life.

The ability to face hardship or seeming insurmountable odds and find a way to emerge.

It is one of the less heralded qualities of the great Hawthorn team that despite facing many obstacles that would have cut down lesser entities has won the last three flags.

Going into a Sunday twilight appointment with an exceptional WCE outfit with notable absentees including its inspirational leader Luke Hodge, be prepared for it to be the games main theme..

The Teams 


B: Ben Stratton, James Frawley, Angus Litherland

HB:Shaun Burgoyne, Josh Gibson, Grant Birchall

C:Billy Hartung, Jordan Lewis, Isaac Smith

HF:Luke Breust, Ryan Schoenmakers, Paul Puopolo

F:James Sicily, Jack Gunston, Cyril Rioli

FOL:Ben McEvoy, Sam Mitchell, Jonathan O'Rourke

I/C:Daniel Howe, Taylor Duryea, Will Langford,Jonathon Ceglar


B:Shannon Hurn, Eric MacKenzie, Sam Butler

HB:Brad Sheppard, Will Schofield, Jackson Nelson

C:Jack Redden, Matt Priddis, Elliot Yeo

HF:Lewis Jetta, Jeremy McGovern, Mark LeCras

F:Jamie Cripps, Josh J. Kennedy, Jack Darling

FOL:Nic Naitanui, Andrew Gaff, Luke Shuey

I/C:Jamie Bennell, Liam Duggan, Josh Hill, Scott Lycett

The main focus from a Hawthorn point of view is the absence of Luke Hodge and Jarryd Roughead. Understandably so, but it overlooks the crucial role Liam Shiels plays as the team's defensive mid.

To highlight his importance:

Liam Shiels has missed 18 games since round 1 2012. In that time Hawthorn have won 10 and lost 8. (5 against Geelong) We have scored 1969 points and conceded 1458. (A percentage of 135.05) This includes last week's loss to Geelong. This is well below both out average win rate in that period and our average percentage in that period (146%) Remarkably it also includes the massive 145 point win against st kilda and the equally massive win against Carlton last season. (He played in neither match.) So the 135% flatters the hawks a little over this period. ( David Perkins )
It stood out last week with Patrick Dangerfield running rampant, and looms large today.It is not just his ability to limit a star but also his overall effect on the contest with him being Hawthorn's leading tackler for the previous three seasons.

Can someone step up to assume Shiels role, or will the dangerous WCE midfielders get the same free pass as the Cats did?

Jono O'Rourke, maybe?

The other important inclusion is ruckman Jonathon Ceglar. Mark Pittonet who came in for him last week on debut was willing, and showed great potential but his inexperience was exploited by Geelong's rucks, highlighted by Zac Smith getting 3 goals floating forward.

The Game

On paper, WCE has it over Hawthorn in every department going into this game.

Thankfully the game is never played 'on paper ' and one can see Hawthorn hitting back hard after a 'team effort' against Geelong where they all were dismal together.

The key will be whether the lesser lights like Jono O'Rourke, Daniel Howe, Angus Litherland and James Sicily can rise to add support to the incumbents who will be stung by last week. At the least be contributors, rather than exploitable weaknesses like they were against the Cats.

The game is set to get 'delicious' with Cyril Rioli who was AWOL last week likely to flick the switch today.

Will it be igniting a limp midfield from last week, or kicking a lazy half dozen to give highlights for fans to pass down generations?

Lets be greedy and bank on 25 possies and 4 goals runs through the lines


All points to a WCE win

But, I am in awe of the fight and belief of this group meaning  they will find a way to get it done

Hawks by 14 points 

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