Saturday, April 9, 2016

Preview, Hawthorn versus Western Bulldogs

Imitation is the greatest form of compliment is the saying I think of when I look at the Western Bulldogs team of 2016.

With them playing a sexy skill based attacking brand of football, set up by their lethal rebounding defenders that ignite a multifaceted attack containing many eclectic threats. When they need to defend their mindsets are rabid, highlighted by an all for one, one for all band of brotherhood all over the ground.  The gut run in support of team mates, relentless tackling pressure and sacrificial 1%'s being a standout.

Very Hawthorn like!

With a clash against the reigning three-peat champs today at Shitiad Stadium, the immediate poser is can they 'out master the masters'?

Or, will the undisputed champs see it as the perfect opportunity to put the Dogs back in their box?

The Teams


B: Matthew Boyd, Marcus Adams, Dale Morris

HB: Matthew Suckling, Easton Wood, Shane Biggs

C: Lachie Hunter, Tom Liberatore, Jason Johannisen

HF: Liam Picken, Marcus Bontempelli, Jake Stringer

F: Luke Dahlhaus, Tom Boyd, Robert Murphy

FOL: Jordan Roughead, Jack Macrae, Mitch Wallis

I/C: Toby McLean, Koby Stevens, Caleb Daniel, Lin Jong


B: Ben Stratton, James Frawley, Taylor Duryea

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, Will Langford

I/C: Angus Litherland, Jonathon Ceglar, Jonathan O'Rourke,
Liam Shiels

The only change for the Scrays was the re-inclusion on another excitement machine Lin Jon for youngster Andrew Dunkley.

Liam Shiels returns for the Hawks, a player rarely mentioned when the so-called experts highlight Hawthorn's high profiles absentees from the early part of the season. But, he is every bit as crucial to the line up as the likes of Roughead and Hodge with his proving the defensive balance to the midfield. A factor so lacking against Geelong in round 1.

The Game

It is amazing how similar these line ups are

With much of the focus falling on the sexy types like Bontempelli, Rioli, Springer etc etc

The fulcrums of both teams in Tom Liberatore for the Scrays and Sam Mitchell for the Hawks rarely get the credit they truly deserve. Admittedly, Mitchell has in the last few years, this after more than a decade of the footy world being clueless to just how good he is. The young Libba is every bit as desperate as his old man with an endless amount of polish to complete his package.

Will both coaches pit the two head to head or go old school and dredge up an old school scragging, niggling tagger to usurp them?

The interesting part of both line ups is they are equally matched in all departments bar one, the ruck.

It is a game perfectly set up for Ben McEvoy and Jonathon Ceglar to have a decisive say in its outcome pitted against makeshift rucks.

If they can, it will give Hawthorn's mids a perfect opportunity to hold sway and exploit a Scrays defence that is lethal for it rebound, but undersized. Similar to the Hawks defence that relies on support from others. If the entry is quick and decisive into the 50 arc it isolates them one on one and leaves them suspect.

Going the other way, the Scrays will go to school on Hawthorn's defensive structure last week. Where they played a high line swarming into the midfield, leaving Josh Gibson to make merry out the back. One can see the Hawks continuing this with it giving them a chance to batter the young Scrays in close and deprive them of space to utilise their skills.

The fear is the pace of the Dogs, which if they can be savvy with ball in hand are very able to break the Hawthorn defensive lines.

On Gibson, he was exceptional last week but aided by some dumb coaching by Adam Simpson. The key to beating Hawthorn is making their strengths into exploitable weaknesses. One being Gibson and his intercept spoiling and rebound.

Factors rendered null and void if he is made to defend by having a forward on him that demands the balls and is honoured from further afield.

'Jake Stringer is the next Gary Ablett Snr....'

The young Scrays phenom does resemble 'God' in many ways, but he could be in for a very rude awakening today in the form of James Frawley

An elite defender who outmatches Stringer for strength and is more than able to match him for pace.

Look for another defensive gem from the criminally underrated, and often hysterically criticised Frawley


I think the Hawks will be primed to send a message today and will win in a canter

Hawks by 6 goals

A Call out to fellow Hawkers 

It is the 20 year anniversary of the club resisting a takeover attempt from Melbourne

To commemorate the anniversary, it is perfect timing to elevate our Saviour, the face of Operation Payback, Don Scott to his rightful position as a legend in out Hall of Fame.

Please sign our petition in support, and join our Facebook groups in support of the great man
Facebook Group

1 comment:

  1. Fact is, we wouldn't be around without Scottie and a handful of others.

    PS I'm sure if I looked hard enough Tim I would have seen you in the crowd on that infamous night-of-nights in Camberwell.