A re-match of last year’s epic Preliminary Final happens at AAMI Stadium as the Adelaide Crows come up against Hawthorn. Live scores kick off from 4.40pm AEST.
It really is hard to forget last year’s prelim. It ebbed and flowed all evening and looked as if Adelaide were on their way to the big dance with about ten minutes to go.
But Hawthorn’s big guns managed to stand up late and knocked the Crows out.
Hawthorn’s 2013 so far has been good without being world-beating – a couple of close calls, the loss to Geelong at the start of the season and some close losses in the pre-season.
What we did see last week was a good performance but they almost came unstuck as the Kangaroos got very, very close!
Losing Cyril Rioli in the closing stages was a big blow. But they managed to hang strong, despite coughing up more inside 50s, more clearances and more contested ball.
No big surprises that Shaun Burgoyne, Sam Mitchell and Jordan Lewis were among their best, and that will need to be the case again tonight if the Hawks are to get up.
They’d like to see Buddy Franklin impact the scoreboard – he went goalless for the first time since Round 5 last season (against Sydney).
Adelaide last week were gallant in trying circumstance, when they lost their main forward focal point Taylor Walker to an ACL injury.
Considering he was the main goal kicker in the Crows’ plans that night, to fight back the way they did against the Blues in the final quarter was a big credit to them.
However, the Adelaide Crows will need to make use of Josh Jenkins and Shaun McKernan up in the forward line, while their small forwards will need a massive lift.
Coming up against a talented defensive line such as Birchall, Stratton, Guerra, Gibson and Hodge – then throw in Brian Lake who made his debut for the club last week, and the Adelaide forward’s task is made just that much tougher!
There’s no doubt the Crows have been disappointing in their contested ball, but their tackling pressure throughout the start of the year has still been strong.
They need to convert that into turnovers and need some free-flowing footy to score goals today.
Getting Jason Porplyzia back into the lineup is a big positive – he could be a key cog not just up forward, but also drifting through the midfield.
The Crows will need a fast start and get the crowd behind them, otherwise it will be the Hawks getting home and sending the Crows season into panic mode.
Preview supplied by TheSportsFreak