The Preview | Round 22 Vs Dogs : It’s time to bite back

Share This Post

Written by Rhys Knight

Two in a row, the lid is off at Waverley as the Hawks channel their inner 2006 and storm home after a lean start to the year but not only has it been consecutive wins, but very good wins. Brisbane are fifth and Collingwood had their best win of the year before getting rampaged by a dominant Hawthorn unit. The Bulldogs have got very little talls and are smacked by injury up forward and down back, which the Hawks can use to their advantage for a third win in a row. 

LAST TIME WE PLAYED

Round 17, 2020 

Hawthorn: 6.4.40

Western Bulldogs: 11.10.76 

Goals: Gunston 3, Breust, O’Brien, Wingard

Disposals: Shiels 21, Cousins 19, O’Meara 17, Breust, Day, Morrison 16¬†

The Hawks won the second half by ten points but when the scoreboard reads 1.2.8 at the halfway point, it’s rare that you can recover and the Hawks couldn’t do it. The Hawks lost contested ball by 30 and uncontested by 56 which won’t get you anywhere. 

Game Preview Video

TEAM CHANGES

IN

Tyler Brockman 

Jai Newcombe 

OUT

Dylan Moore (injured) 

James Worpel (injured) 

Pretty boring (not that that is a bad thing) changes from the Hawks with second leading goal-kicker in Moore coming out with some knee soreness and fingers crossed that the Hawks can continue putting up good scores (351 points in the last four weeks, averaging 87.75 which has been terrific to watch. The Worpedo also missed after not getting training during the week but the man replacing him is not only one of the quickest fan favourites in Hawthorn history in Jai Newcombe but a really nice replacement. Jai will bring midfield pressure and grunt around the contest. 

How the Hawks win

The Hawks for possibly a second time this season, never looked like losing which has been a welcome relief for Hawks fans, who have been gripped with tight wins (Essendon and Adelaide by under a goal), a draw (Melbourne) and a couple of wins in GWS and Brisbane that halted late charges. The Hawks are still not having complete four quarter performances, however, we are massive fans of having massive leads and dropping off late rather than the first half of the year, trying (and a couple of times, succeeding) to come back from big margins. The Hawks are becoming better and better by the week and we are here for it. If the Hawks can get the Dogs on the back foot, their maturity in the last month or so can absolutely shine through and cause a boil-over with finals repercussions. 

The Dogs are playing small ball with inexperienced talls, with Josh Bruce out with an ACL tear, with Jamarra Ugle-Hagan and Josh Schache up forward being managed. Young superstar Aaron Naughton is only 21 with 42 games experience so with the maturity of Kyle Hartigan (29 years old) and Sam Frost (27), the Hawks can have an edge. Frosty nullified Lance Franklin back when and made Jeremy Finlayson looked invisible so there’s no reason why he can’t (on a realistic level) stop the future superstar and with the Dogs playing Mitch Hannan, Laitham Vandermeer and Cody Weightman, our back six will be under the pump but they’ve shown they’re amongst the best back six in the league. 

The Dogs fell to Essendon with the Dons exploiting them out of the centre clearance. In fact, the Dogs midfield which is so great lost the clearance count 47-31. On the back of a 39-33 win against Collingwood, there is a massive opportunity for the Hawks to do something delightful. Peter Wright kicked a career best seven and exploited the Dogs key backs but with Alex Keath back in business, another shared effort (eleven goal-kickers last week) will be required. 

Concerns

Even though the Dogs midfield were humbled on Sunday, names of the elk of Jackson Macrae, Marcus Bontempelli, Tom Liberatore, Lachie Hunter, Adam Treloar, Josh Dunkley and Bailey Smith, the Hawks have got their hands full and then some, stopping that elite group from gift wrapping the Dogs territory. 

Whilst tagging eight blokes might seem utterly bewildering, it’s not out of the realms of opportunity that two might be employed. Liam Shiels has done run with roles and when teams have tagged, it’s been Tom Liberatore who’s been the target of the tagger and with good reason. Libba is a contested beast who gets the ball to Bont, Macrae and Bazlenka Smith. Collingwood didn’t tag Tom Mitchell to their detriment so fingers crossed the Hawks don’t do the same. 

The second player to be tagged should be Caleb Daniel. The little man is a big factor in the Dogs’ success and his laser like foot and underrated footy IQ makes him a genuine weapon. Could Ollie Hanrahan unlock a new defensive forward role, who can also follow Daniel into the midfield? If not, he could genuinely carve us up. 

Talking Hawks are keeping an eye on : Conor Nash 

Once could have been a fluke but twice is proof that he can belong at the level. His previous best of 16 disposals have been bettered in the last fortnight with his 23 disposals against Brisbane and 20 over the Pies. He’s had 14 tackles for the Hawks in the last fortnight (ranked number one in the last two weeks with O’Meara 13 and Wingard with 11) and has even gone at 72.1% disposal efficiency. Keep going Nashy.

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Get updates and learn from the best

More To Explore

Talking Hawks

Inaugural Grand Final Success to Hawks

On the weekend Hawthorn were crowned Premiers for 2023 in the Robert Rose Foundation Victorian Wheelchair Football League Grand Final, overcoming an experienced Richmond team

Talking Hawks

Hawks enter the finals race humming

With the AFL season coming to an end after the loss to Fremantle on the weekend, supporters attention now turns to the Box Hill Hawks