Dane Swan picked up 49 touches in one game against the Hawks last year. Image courtesy of heraldsun.com.au
Last Five Meetings
QF, 2012 – Hawthorn Hawks 135 d Collingwood Magpies 97
Round 17, 2012 – Hawthorn Hawks 138 d Collingwood Magpies 91
Round 1, 2012 – Hawthorn Hawks 137 d Collingwood Magpies 115
PF, 2011 – Collingwood Magpies 68 d Hawthorn Hawks 65
Round 15, 2011 – Collingwood Magpies 106 d Hawthorn Hawks 65
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A short-handed Collingwood outfit has started the season in stellar fashion scoring wins over North Melbourne and Carlton, two teams the Magpies failed to beat in 2012. They lost all three games to the Hawks, too, including a 38-point defeat in the first week of the finals, but they can arrest a three-game losing streak to Hawthorn on Sunday.
After giving up a more than handy halftime lead against Geelong, Hawthorn kicked in to gear in the west last weekend, thumping a depleted Eagles side by 50 points. Lance Franklin kicked five while smalls Cyril Rioli and Luke Breust kicked off where they left last season bagging four each. Franklin has been dominant against Collingwood in the past averaging over four goals per game throughout his career.
The Hawks will definitely be missing tough midfielder Brad Sewell due to a hamstring injury, which will be music to the ears of his usual opponent Scott Pendlebury . Collingwood will miss the services of skipper Nick Maxwell with a wrist fracture set to keep him out the next couple of months. He was vital moving in to the ruck against Carlton when Darren Jolly went down with a rib injury.
(Magpies) Quentin Lynch – At 30 years of age, Quentin Lynch certainly wasn’t the flashiest of off-season pick-ups the Magpies could have made, but just two games in he looks like being one of most effective buys. While he played predominantly as a forward last year, he was vital moving in to the ruck against Carlton when Darren Jolly went down with a rib injury. He was outstanding around the ground picking up 24 possessions, five marks and 19 hit-outs. Another no frills player in the form of Leigh Brown played the ruck/forward role with distinction for Collingwood for three seasons winning a premiership and playing in three grand finals (including a replay). He started his career in the west with Fremantle; can another former Sandgroper be the ‘Pies good luck charm this season?
(Hawks) Sam Mitchell – Hawthorn’s warrior just keeps on keeping on. Sam Mitchell started the season with a standout 37-possession game in the loss to the Cats, then backed that up with a starring role in the win over the Eagles. With Brad Sewell missing, Hawthorn will need every bit of toughness out of its former captain. He has a brilliant record stepping up in big games against the ‘Pies having racked up 30 or more disposals in the teams’ past six meetings.
Last season of the nine teams that played the Eagles at Patersons Stadium, four of them got up to win the next week, but only one of those victories – St Kilda’s shock win over Sydney – came against a top eight team. In 2012 the Hawks played the Eagles in Perth in round four and were comprehensively smacked by 37 points by their eventual grand final nemesis Sydney the week after. It was a balmy 32-degree day in the west last Sunday, so how the Hawks have recovered will be important. Hawthorn had the wood on the ‘Pies last season but Nathan Buckley’s side looks to be a more resilient outfit this season, and importantly, he’s getting contributions from the lesser-knowns like Jamie Elliott and rookie Sam Dwyer. There won’t be much in it, but Hawthorn showed in the grand final last year that its skills can wane under relentless pressure, and that’s what the Magpies are all about. Magpies by 8 points
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