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Fresh off a tumultuous week, the Hawthorn Hawks and Alastair Clarkson head to Tasmania looking to keep their strong recent form going against the Fremantle Dockers. Tune into game one of Saturday footy here on The Roar with live scores from 1:45pm (AEST).
After weeks if not months of speculation, a bombshell finally detonated at Hawthorn, with news dropping that favourite son Sam Mitchell will take over from Clarkson as Hawks coach from 2023 onwards. Whether Clarkson chooses to fulfil the final year of his contract at the club he’s coached to four premierships, or departs early to take up the role at Collingwood (for instance), remains to be seen.
Despite the off-field drama, the Hawks have been purring along nicely since their bye. They’ve beaten the finals-bound Sydney and another current top-eight side in GWS, though were soundly beaten by Hawthorn in Shaun Burgoyne’s 400th game last week. A trio of first-year players in Emerson Jeka, Tyler Brockman and top draft pick Denver Grainger-Barras return for the trip to the Apple Isle, in a sign the Hawks’ youth policy will continue.
The Dockers will be cursing the WA government’s hardline COVID-19 stance which forced their home game with Carlton to be played at the MCG – the narrow loss they sustained could be critical in the run to finals. With a 7-8 record, Justin Longmuir’s men are just half a game outside the top eight, but can ill afford to drop any more games against sides lower than them on the ladder.
Captain and superstar Nat Fyfe chalks up his 200th match today, which should give the Dockers some extra motivation. Fyfe has done just about everything that can be done in his first 199, other than what matters most… playing in a premiership.
The Dockers have fared terribly against the Hawks at their Launceston home away from home, winning just one of 12 games there. Can they break the run and keep their season alive?
B: 15 Blake Hardwick, 28 Kyle Hartigan, 14 Jack Scrimshaw
HB: 9 Shaun Burgoyne, 8 Sam Frost, 29 Changkuoth Jiath
C: 26 Liam Shiels, 5 James Worpel, 16 Lachlan Bramble
HF: 10 Jaeger O’Meara, 22 Luke Breust, 39 Emerson Jeka
F: 36 Dylan Moore, 7 Ben McEvoy (c), 17 Daniel Howe
FOLL: 18 Jonathon Ceglar, 3 Tom Mitchell, 11 Conor Nash
INT: 21 Tom Phillips, 34 Jacob Koschitzke, 38 Denver Grainger-Barras, 42 Tyler Brockman
EMG: 13 Oliver Hanrahan, 23 Tim O’Brien, 30 Damon Greaves, 44 Jai Newcombe
IN: Denver Grainger-Barras, Emerson Jeka, Tyler Brockman
OUT: Damon Greaves, Jai Newcombe, Tim O’Brien
B: 14 Nathan Wilson, 25 Alex Pearce, 13 Luke Ryan
HB: 11 James Aish, 2 Griffin Logue, 18 Darcy Tucker
C: 9 Blake Acres, 7 Nat Fyfe (c), 5 Adam Cerra
HF: 33 Travis Colyer, 37 Rory Lobb, 10 Michael Walters
F: 28 Lachie Schultz, 35 Josh Treacy, 23 Liam Henry
FOL: 4 Sean Darcy, 16 David Mundy, 8 Andrew Brayshaw
I/C: 3 Caleb Serong, 31 Brandon Walker, 39 Sam Switkowski, 41 Bailey Banfield
EMG: 6 Reece Conca, 12 Mitch Crowden, 19 Connor Blakely, 22 Lloyd Meek
IN: Bailey Banfield
OUT: Brett Bewley