Masters And Apprentices

Picture: Getty Images/couriermail.com.au
The AFL's best player and his team mates await the high-flying Hawks. Picture: Getty Images/couriermail.com.au

GOLD COAST v HAWTHORN

Metricon Stadium, Saturday April 12, 7:40pm (AEST)

Why watch?

The match looms as a one-sided affair but it will be fascinating to see how far the Suns can push the reigning premiers. The Hawks proved against Fremantle that they are again the benchmark team, but the Suns have also made a hot start to the season and take on the Hawks on the back of a confidence-boosting belting of the Lions.

So far in 2013, each Gold Coast opponent has struggled to shut down Gary Ablett. Can the Hawks do it? And does Gold Coast have a versatile defence to stop in-form Hawks goal-kickers Jack Gunston and Cyril Rioli?

Match notes

- Hawthorn set to regain skipper Luke Hodge from groin injury.
- It's only Hawthorn second match against the Suns at Carrara, last time they played was 2011 when the Hawks won by nine points.
- Gold Coast key defender Steven May's suspension overturned at the AFL tribunal.
- The Suns will, however, be without speedy forward Brandon Matera who'll miss a week through suspension.

Say what?

@AFL Hang your heads in shame, May suspension worst decision of all time, from a neutral supporter — Mac Roseman (@MacRoseman) April 7, 2014

"Life after footy is the time to reflect on milestones...I just go out and play footy and don't worry about what's out of my control."

Last 5 games (includes 2013 season)

Gold Coast
L 46 St Kilda
W 83 GWS
W 18 Richmond
L 48 Fremantle
W 53 Brisbane Lions

Hawthorn
W 5 Geelong
W 15 Fremantle
W 48 Brisbane Lions
W 4 Essendon
W 58 Fremantle

Last four between clubs

Haw, Haw, Haw, Haw

Fantasy factoid

Gold Coast has three players ranked inside the top 10 for Sportal AFL Fantasy points per round. Gary Ablett is No.1 with an average of 173.1, Dion Prestia (149.7) is eighth and David Swallow (147.3) is 10th.

Likewise at Richmond, its captain is also its leading performer. Trent Cotchin averages 145.3 points.

Cold hard fact

Hawthorn is the most accurate team in front of goal this season, shooting at 61 per cent. Gold Coast is 13th at 44 per cent.

Final Word

Last time these sides met, the Suns were surprise 11-point leaders at halftime. We think Gold Coast will put up a similar competitive effort on Saturday night.

The problem for the Suns is that the Hawks have too many winners across the ground. For example, young ruckman Tom Nicholls will have his work cut out trying to compete with Hawks duo David Hale and Ben McEvoy.

The high-flying Hawks will do enough to win by a comfortable five goals.

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