Hawks Shoot For Ten Straight

Picture: Getty Images/theaustralian.com.au
Jordan Lewis is one of Hawthorn's tough-nut midfielders. Image courtesy of theaustralian.com.au/Getty Images
Last Five Meetings

Round 14, 2012 – Hawthorn Hawks 120 d Carlton Blues 70 at MCG
Round 22, 2011 – Hawthorn Hawks 78 d Carlton Blues 66 at Etihad Stadium
Round 9, 2010 – Hawthorn Hawks 110 d Carlton Blues 60 at Etihad Stadium
Round 6, 2009 – Hawthorn Hawks 106 d Carlton Blues 102 at MCG
Round 22, 2008 – Hawthorn Hawks 159 d Carlton Blues 81 at Etihad Stadium


Form

     Rd 7       Rd 8       Rd 9       Rd 10       Rd 11   
Carlton    L  W  W  W  L
Hawthorn    W  W  W  W  B

With Jarrad Waite tearing apart Essendon’s backline and Carlton’s midfield running rampant last Friday night, the Blues looked every bit a team that has the potential to trouble the AFL’s heavyweights. An hour-and-a-half later the Blues were left wondering what might have been after the ‘Dons launched a stunning second half comeback to overpower their rivals by just five points .

The four points there would have been crucial, given that match kicked off a horror run of matches for Mick Malthouse’s team. On the back of the Bombers battle, the Blues now face the Hawks, Swans and Magpies in successive weeks. They have been boosted by the return of multi-dimensional midfielder Andrew Carrazzo who can play as a run-with player or a ball-winner, while Chris Yarran loses his spot after his show of petulance after being named the starting sub last week.

It doesn’t seem to matter who the Hawks play at the moment, the result always ends up the same. Hawthorn’s nine-match winning streak is, not surprisingly, the best in the competition, and the men from Glenferrie come in to this match after having a rest last weekend thanks to the bye. Strangely enough, a win here will give the Hawks ten straight wins against the Blues, also. Cyril Rioli is still a week or two away from returning from his hamstring injury, but Max Bailey returns to beef up the ruck division.


Key Men

(Blues) Jordan Lewis – He doesn’t have the ball-winning abilities of a Sam Mitchell or the silky skills or the silky skills of a Cyril Rioli, but one thing Jordan Lewis brings to the Hawks is toughness. He can play across half-forward or in the midfield, is a very good user of the football, and he is the sort of player you want with you in the clinches when a game is on the line. He has been dominant his past two weeks; he had 31 touches and nine marks against the Suns before backing that up with 29 possessions and a goal against the woeful Demons.

(Blues) Jarrad Waite – Until Michael Hurley went back last Friday night, Essendon had no answer to the athleticism and aerial ability of Jarrad Waite. It’s a potent mix which even Jake Carlisle, who has held the league’s best power forwards in check this season, couldn’t handle. He kicked a career best of seven goals to go along with 14 marks, and looked to be booting the Blues to victory at half-time. He has a poor record against the Hawks, though. He has missed the last three clashes between the teams, and kicked just two goals in four games prior. Now would be an ideal time to produce a breakout game against the league’s pacesetters.


Prediction

Carlton was wasteful early on against Essendon and it came back to bite them in the finish. Put simply, they have to be more clinical across the ground if they’re to compete with Hawthorn. The Bombers showed that if you put this Blues side under pressure, they will still wilt. Essendon more than doubled its tackle count in the second half and Carlton didn’t have the answers. Lance Franklin and Jarryd Roughead both average 3 ½ goals per game against Carlton. Even if you shut one of them down, the likes of Luke Breust , Isaac Smith, Shaun Burgoyne and Co. can still sniff out a goal from anywhere. Good luck, Blues fans. Hawks by 25 points

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