The Preview | Round 16 V Port Adelaide: A Powerful, Silky tribute

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Written by Rhys Knight

First and foremost, what an amazing win over the Giants by the boys in brown and gold. The core of rebounding defenders dominating the Day (a Will pun there ?), Jack Scrimshaw was amazing and up forward, welcome to the real breakout of Dylan Moore. However, like the old footy saying goes, ‘we have to move on to next week’, the Hawks have got a Port Adelaide who need a top four spot to win the flag, on a very special night. 

This little segment will be the Shaun Burgoyne tribute and then the analysis of the game will take place. Congratulations to the old head Silk, who’s given us Hawks fans amazing memories since he arrived in Round 8, 2010 and has become part of the furniture. Three premierships, Mr Reliable, the man who could play everywhere and one of the best clutch set shot kickers in football history, we here at Talking Hawks congratulate Silk on all of his success, thank him profusely for all the memories and we will be celebrating this for a long time. 



Shaun Burgoyne 

Damon Greaves 

Conor Nash (likely sub) 


Chad Wingard (hamstring) 

Denver Grainger-Barras (concussion) 

Day (ankle)

Wingard was subbed out with a hamstring complaint (ironically for Silk) and although was listed as a ‘test’, won’t get up and hope he can recover quickly. Denver in his debut got concussion symptoms which is a massive shame and he also comes out of the team. Day finished the game however showed signs of a sore ankle by game’s end, so sadly Will will be an onlooker this week.

In his 400th game, Burgoyne will play the full game out and Damon Greaves comes back, who’s likely to play on Connor Rozee after playing on Eddie Betts and Izak Rankine, amd doing good jobs for the last three quarters in those games. Conor Nash returns after a 28 disposal and one goal performance in the midfield against Aspley, as well as previous good form in the reserves.

How the Hawks win

The Hawks average 14.5 marks inside 50 in their four wins and had 11 in the close loss against Essendon, while in their other nine losses, they average 8.9.

It’s an easy game sometimes when you look at the numbers but getting the ball inside 50 and holding your marks will give the Hawks an abundance of opportunities to score, and with having 25 scoring shots on the weekend, you’re not going to lose many games doing that. Since the bye, the Hawks are 2-1, with a points differential of +43 on their opponents and average 22.3 scoring shots, which compared to 19.1 before the bye, is fantastic!

Metres gained is a statistic that can cause some casual fans to roll their eyes but it’s a stat for the Hawks that needs to be monitored, given in the three games post bye, the defensive half are the springboards in taking territory and setting up attacking thrusts. Note the players who were the top five for the Hawks on the weekend; Will Day – rebounded a bunch, Liam Shiels – midfielder getting it forward, Dylan Moore – high half forward, Dan Howe – wingman, and Tom Mitchell – inside midfielder who did spread from the contest magnificently.

What is so pleasing about those names is they are five players who play five different roles so the whole field is being looked after, instead of the top five being Blake Hardwick, CJ, Jack Scrimshaw, Will Day and Dan Howe for example, so you know the defence has been under the pump all day, but against the Giants it’s a nice spread. 


This is a top four side that the Hawks are going up against, with an inverted win-loss record (10-4 vs 4-10) with a top six offence and a top five defence so there is no way this can be taken lightly. Port haven’t lost to a side less than fifth on the ladder in 2021 and have won two of their last three games at Marvel Stadium. 

Both of these teams are in the top echelon when it comes to tackling (7th vs 6th) but Port are the fifth best pressure efficiency team in the competition (concede 72.2% disposal efficiency, compared to Hawthorn’s 74%) so the Hawks when moving the ball forward will need to get their uncontested game going, which they can do of course. 

Ollie Wines is one of the more improved players in the competition, averaging 32 disposals, 14 contested possessions, six score involvements, five clearances, five inside 50’s, four marks, four tackles and goes at 70% efficiency. The Hawks haven’t really tagged much since James Cousins shut down Sam Walsh in the second half of the Carlton game but a likely Jaeger O’Meara matchup will be a beauty.

Whilst not in his runner up Brownlow form of last season, Travis Boak is still averaging 28 disposals (13 contested), seven score involvements, six clearances and five tackles. With Robbie Gray out, the next rung of midfielders (Willem Drew, Karl Amon, Kane Farrell and Sam Powell-Pepper) aren’t of the same quality but the Hawks can’t afford to sleep around the midfield. 

Charlie Dixon loves beating up on lesser sides and Hawthorn have the ‘power forward killer’ in Kyle Hartigan. Harry Himmelberg has given Hawthorn problems in the past and Hartigan made him invisible for the majority of the game and kept him goalless. Whilst impossible to assume Hartigan will do it again, if Charlie is kept as quiet as possible, the Hawks will be flying. 

Rhys is keeping an eye on: Dan Howe 

Karl Amon is one of the more underrated wingmen in the competition and is having a very good year and Dan Howe’s form since the bye has been outstanding. He’s had 23, 23 (and ten marks) and a career best 31 since the bye and us here at Talking Hawks are backing him in to continue his fantastic form. 

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