Hawthorn v Western Bulldogs | Friday, September 16, 7.40pm (AEDT), MCG
The ‘Cootamundra Kid’, Isaac Smith, went within a whisker of putting the Hawks into their sixth straight prelim final when his shot after the siren slid across the face of goals for a point.
Instead of talking about the Hawthorn weaknesses, we would be focusing in Geelong’s. Such a fine line between success and failure due to the even nature of the top six teams.
The undersized Hawthorn forward line was held check by the Cats long enough for them to post a winning score. The Bulldogs are well equipped to do a similar job on Friday.
Mathew Boyd leads the young Bulldog back division along with ace interceptor Easton Wood.
Add in the run off half back that Jason Johannisen provides and you can see the Hawks are in for another mighty battle.
Another area of concern for the Hawks is their aging midfield.
Jordan Lewis and Luke Hodge are still great footballers but they do lack a little speed if Isaac Smith andBrad Hill have quiet games.
The Bulldogs midfielders are young and enthusiastic and very good.
Caleb Daniel’s ability to win the hard ball and then to dispose of it with pinpoint accuracy is one of the wonders of the modern footballing world.
Throw in the outstanding Marcus Bontempelli and Luke Dahlhaus plus Jake Stringer causing mayhem up forward and I’m starting to think the Bulldogs can win this one.
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Last time they met: Rd.3, 2016 – Western Bulldogs 90 lost to Hawthorn 93
Line tip: Western Bulldogs +11.5
B: T.Duryea, J.Frawley, S.Burgoyne
HB: L.Hodge, J.Gibson, G.Birchall
C: I.Smith, S.Mitchell, B.Hill
HF: L.Breust, J.Gunston, C.Rioli
F: P.Puopolo, J.Fitzpatrick, R.Schoenmakers
R: B.McEvoy, J.Lewis, L.Shiels
I/C: B.Stratton, B.Whitecross, J.Sicily, B.Hartung
EMG: W.Langford, D.Howe, M.Spangher
IN: B.Hartung, J.Sicily
OUT: R.Burton, D.Howe.
B: J.Johannisen, J.Hamling, M.Boyd
HB: M.Suckling, D.Morris, E.Wood
C: L.Hunter, M.Bontempelli, L.Picken
HF: J.Macrae, Z.Cordy, J.Stringer
F: T.Dickson, T.Boyd, C.Daniel
R: J.Roughead, L.Dahlhaus, T.Liberatore
I/C: C.Smith, T.McLean, J.Dunkley, S.Biggs
EMG: T.Campbell, L.Webb, R.Smith