Hawthorn v Adelaide Preliminary Final

Picture: Getty Images/theaustralian.com.au
Jordan Lewis will be a vital part of Hawthorn's grand final charge. Image courtesy of theaustralian.com.au/Getty Images
Hawthorn go in as the raging hot favourite in the second preliminary final. It’s not hard to see why given the dismissal of Collingwood two weeks ago, coupled with Adelaide’s hot and cold efforts in its two finals matches so far, where they have looked a shell of the team that romped to second place on the table during the home and away season.

The teams have met just once this season, and it was the Hawks prevailing by 56 points. That match is just one of ten straight they’ve won against interstate teams at the MCG.

If the Crows are to win, then given his recent form, gun forward Taylor Walker will have to play a major part. His five goals against Freo got Adelaide home, but Josh Gibson smothered him in the teams’ last meeting, with Walker taking just three marks and failing to register a goal. Down the other end, Ben Rutten will try to back up his effort on Matthew Pavlich by keeping Lance Franklin in check.

Where it Will be Won – Dockers tagger Ryan Crowley did a great lockdown job on Patrick Dangerfield at AAMI Stadium last weekend. The Brownlow Medal candidate is the Crows’ best prospect at opening the game up and getting the better of Hawthorn’s midfield, which isn’t exactly blessed with pace. If Dangerfield cuts loose, Liam Shiels will probably get the job of shutting him down, and with it, Adelaide’s hopes of an upset. It’s hard to see the Crows keeping the likes of Sam Mitchell , Jordan Lewis and Brad Sewell quiet in a preliminary final.

Prediction – Adelaide has kicked 1.3 in both first quarters during the finals series. They can’t afford a similarly sluggish start against the Hawks, but even if they’re still in the game going in to the final change, the home has had the benefit of the week off. Hawthorn 40+  

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