CATS LOOK TO WIPE HAWKS FROM MAP
By Ben Jensen and 'Michael P' GEELONG travel to Launceston this Sunday to play Hawthorn. We've had two fanatics write their reasons why the Cats will or won't win. And to make it objective, we've got a Hawk fan to write the "why we won't" section.
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WHY WE'LL WIN (THE FANATIC'S VIEW)
The Cats are on fire <insert full stop>. Nathan Ablett is chance to return, but even without the league's most improved key forward, Geelong should be too strong in all departments, most of all the forward line, for Hawthorn. The Hawks have some good midfielders and defenders, granted, and a capable goalsneak in Mark Williams.
The backline is approach its form of 2004 and 2005 while the midfield is humming alone like a Honda V12. Jimmy Bartel has been sensational and has been joined in top gear by Gary Ablett, Cameron Ling, Joel Corey, Paul Chapman and Corey Enright.
David Wojcinski, aka the excitement machine, has been thrilling fans, coaches, teammates and commentators alike with his breathtaking runs from defence, streaming across the wing, towards and into the forward line. Coupled with the quarterback Matthew Scarlett, sharpshooter Josh Hunt, athletic Matthew Egan, new boy Andrew Mackie and everywhereman Darren Milburn the back six is looking unbeatable. (Can't wait for the return of skipper Tom Harley!)
For the Hawks Key defender Trend 'Yellow Brick' Croad, runner Tim Clarke, the man who sells bait, Chance Bateman, Captain Ritchie Vandenberg, and All Australian defender Joel Smith will all miss. (See Hawthorn's Injury List). Out of the Cats' winning teams the past two weeks, only Ablett is a chance to miss through injury.
To help learn how to kick goals again, the Hawks are holding a remedial 'goal kicking session' Friday morning, 9:30AM, at Waverley Park.
WHY WE WON'T WIN (THE HAWK'S VIEW)
Hawk fanatic (but not a member) Michael (we can't reveal his full name and cannot guarantee that this is an actual or close likeness of him) P (pictured, right) writes his reasons why they'll beat us. Personally, I think about the only way they'll beat us is if the plane flies to the wrong island state.
The reason why Hawthorn will win - Buddy Franklin.
Whilst an extremely talented group of young players (including Clinton Young who is also talented), when looking for the most likely reason for a Hawthorn win, you cannot go past the one and only Buddy. He is on the verge of setting the league on fire for being Aaron Davey (Cathy Freeman) in a key position player's body. After several years developing as a new recruit, Franklin has now come of age and ready to become one of the elite league players who can win a game in a matter of minutes. How this guy ended up being drafted at no. 5 in the 2004 following Deledio, Roughead, Griffen and Tambling is one of the big questions (whilst all good, skillful players somehow lack the electricity and sheer match winning touch of Buddy).
The Hawthorn midfield on their day is also one of the best going around led from the front by The Extractor (Sam Mitchell), Luke Hodge, Shane Crawford and emerging talent's in Jordan Lewis, Clinton Young and Ben McGlynn (although an emergency, we're assuming our 'supercoach' does a Sheedy and makes a pre-game change). However in saying that, this would also have to be one of Hawthorn's weaknesses as it would be fair to say that things aren't pretty when the midfield is not having 'their day'. It will be interesting to see how Bartel, Kelly, Corey, The Rockling and Co. match up against the Hawks in the battle for midfield supremacy. Brad Sewell will be given the job to shut down the Cat's most important player, potentially Garrrrry Ablett Jnr or Bartel IMO.
One of Geelong's struggles in recent years has been the key forward positions and in the past Hawthorn's developing backline would have been an 'interesting matchup'. However with the Geelong forward line decimating the opposition in the last couple of weeks (led by 'give me a t' Tomahawk), Danny Jacobs, Grant Birchall, Campbell Brown and Co. will have to be at their best (which they should be).
The Hawthorn forward line is normally dominated by big performances from Mark Williams (who just for the record is not a goalsneak), however on Sunday I am tipping that he will be kept reasonably quiet by Scarlett (Geelong's elite player) for 3 quarters, leaving Williams enough time to kick 2-3 goals. However with Buddy Franklin good for at least 3 goals, Ben Dixon due for a big one and a goal kicking midfield, the Hawks should be able to kick a score to account for the Cats.
And lastly - Aurora Stadium in Launceston is probably one of the best home ground advantages going around with the Hawks rarely beaten down
AFL ROUND FOUR 2007
HAWTHORN V GEELONG
SUNDAY 22 APRIL 2007 13:10 AEST
TOM HAWKINS MARKS STRONGLY IN FRONT OF HIS MELBOURNE OPPONANT NATHAN 'CHOPPER' CARROL
MICHAEL (we can't reveal his full name and cannot guarantee that this is an actual or close likeness of him) P