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Hawthorn have strengthened their top four ambitions and added another chapter to a storied rivalry with an 11-point win over Geelong at the MCG.
Hawthorn Hawks 10.11.71
Geelong Cats 8.12.60
The Hawthorn Hawks host the Geelong Cats at the Melbourne Cricket Ground in a game that will have huge ramifications on finals football. Join The Roar for live scores and a blog of the match, starting from 1:45pm (AEST).
There is no denying that the clash between these two sides has become a rivalry over the years, and with what’s on the line, you can expect another gruelling game of football.
Hawthorn were excellent last week against the form team of the competition in the Essendon Bombers. In ending Essendon’s season, they also have given themselves a fantastic opportunity to finish within the top four.
For a team that looked miles off finals football during large parts of last season, to be competing for a top four spot the following season, that is a superb effort from Alastair Clarkson’s men.
The Hawthorn faithful would have loved to see the likes of Jack Gunston and Luke Breust deliver last week against the Bombers. Kicking eight majors between them played a huge role in getting a crucial four points.
Let’s also not forget the influence of Tom Mitchell, who reeled in 43 disposals. This is a side that is definitely a threat come finals time. Despite there being a number of list changes over the last couple of years, there is still plenty of experience running around in the brown and gold at this current moment. That could prove invaluable come September.
In team news for the Hawks this week, Conor Nash comes in for the ill Brendan Whitecross.
As for Geelong, there is no shame in losing to the Richmond Tigers, but that was a missed opportunity last week.
The Cats desperately needed the four points as they now have moved to ninth on the ladder, but they just couldn’t find a way.
The did plenty right against the Tigers, which should give them some confidence this week. The main men in Patrick Dangerfield, Joel Selwood and Tim Kelly got plenty of the ball and had an impact, but the fact they did have an impact and the Tigers got up just shows the resilience within Damien Hardwick’s men.
Nonetheless, if those three play anywhere near the level they did last week, then it will go a long way to beating the Hawks.
In team news for the Cats this week, there are a number of changes with Jed Bews (Injured), Jackson Thurlow (Omitted), Jamaine Jones (Omitted), Ryan Abbott (Omitted) and Jordan Cunico (Omitted) all coming out of the side.
Tom Stewart, James Parsons, Quinton Narkle, Rhys Stanley and Mark O’Connor are the replacements.
This match is particularly hard to tip. You can make a case for both sides, but I think with there being more pressure on Geelong, they will find a way to grind out four points.
Geelong by 7.
Join The Roar for live scores and a blog of the match, starting from 1:45pm (AEST).