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Qualifying Final Sydney Showgrounds
Sun, 17 Sep 2017 • 17:25 WST
West Coast Greater Western Sydney
9.4 (58) 19.11 (125)
Game Focus


Injury List

Player Injury Weeks


AFL Ladder

Team P % Pts
1. Adelaide 22 136.0 62
2. Geelong 22 117.4 62
3. Richmond 22 118.3 60
4. GWS Giants 22 114.9 60
5. Port Adel. 22 129.7 56
6. Sydney 22 126.8 56
7. Essenscum 22 106.5 48
8. West Coast 22 105.7 48
9. Melbourne 22 105.2 48
10. W. Bulldogs 22 97.1 44
11. St Kilda 22 96.9 44
12. Hawthorn 22 90.7 42
13. Coll'wood 22 99.0 38
14. Fremantle 22 74.4 32
15. North Melb. 22 87.6 24
16. Carlton 22 78.2 24
17. Gold Coast 22 76.0 24
18. Brisbane 22 74.3 20


by Matt Quinn
22nd April 2017
Going into the season, this would have been one of the fixtures people put a circle around as a very interesting matchup, with Sam Mitchell due to line up for the first time against the Hawks after 307 games at the club. However it's become an anti-climax with Mitchell hobbling off last week against the Swans, and the Hawks rooted to the bottom of the table after four ignominious losses.

However there is still interest to it - can the Eagles win a match on the MCG? Are Hawthorn really suddenly the biggest pile of crap since Freo lost the plot last year? When will Richmond implode this year (OK, that's not part of this game, but everyone's thinking it)...


Squads

West Coast Ruck B Shannon Hurn (25)
Will Schofield (31)
Tom Barrass (37)
Hawthorn Ruck
Jonathan Giles (22)  F James Sicily (21)
Jarryd Roughead (2)
Paul Puopolo (28)
Ben McEvoy (7)
Luke Shuey (13)  HB Elliot Yeo (6)
Jeremy McGovern (20)
Sam Butler (26)
Liam Shiels (26)
Jack Redden (8)  HF Luke Breust (22)
Jack Gunston (19)
Will Langford (29)
Cyril Rioli (33)
  C Liam Duggan (14)
Matthew Priddis (11)
Andrew Gaff (3)
  C Isaac Smith (16)
Tom Mitchell (3)
Billy Hartung (4)
  HF Josh Hill (33)
Jack Darling (27)
Jamie Cripps (15)
  HB Ryan Burton (5)
Shaun Burgoyne (9)
Luke Hodge (15)
  F Mark LeCras (2)
Josh Kennedy (17)
Nathan Vardy (19)
  B Josh Gibson (6)
James Frawley (12)
Benjamin Stratton (24)
West Coast Interchange Jackson Nelson (30), Sharrod Wellingham (12), Chris Masten (7), Brad Sheppard (5),  
Kaiden Brand (30), Blake Hardwick (37), Tim O'Brien (23), Daniel Howe (17), Hawthorn Interchange


Weather

Chance of a shower
Maximum Temperature:22

Changes

The Eagles have made one forced change, ironically leaving out Sam Mitchell for this game while bringing Jack Darling back into the team. The Hawks have likewise made one change, omitting ex-Crow Ricky Henderson in favour of Daniel Howe,

Injuries and Suspensions

Sam Mitchell (ankle) is the only addition to the Eagles injury list this week, with Jack Darling coming off and returning to the team in his place.

The Hawks have two major outs with recruit Jaeger O'Meara out with a minor knee injury while first choice ruckman Jon Ceglar is out long term with a knee injury sustained in the same game Nic Naitanui did his.
Player Injury Weeks
Darling Ankle test
Mitchell Ankle 1
Rioli Hamstring 4
Lycett Shoulder 4-6
Petrie* Hand 6
Waterman Foot 8
Tunbridge ACL 9-13
Naitanui ACL 12-17


Lead up

The Eagles have looked scratchy in all four matches this year, but have managed to win three - though the only loss was on this venue a fortnight back against the Tiggers.

Hawthorn are propping up the ladder on the back of four straight losses, the last two being both by 86 points to the Cats and embarrasingly the Suns

Matchups

The Eagles have been cut apart in recent seasons by the Hawks on the MCG against the Hawks mostly by Sam Mitchell, but this week he's both (1) an Eagle and (2) unavailable, so that won't be an issue. However the Eagles still have issues with the venue, and would have been hoping Mitchell would be available to stem some of those this week.

The Eagles won the ruck for the first time with the makeshift Giles/Vardy combination last week, but will want to hold strong with the Hawks fielding a solid ruck combination led by Ben McEvoy. Still, the Eagles haven't done too badly without ruck dominance. Luke Shuey has been in red hot form and will be the one to watch for the Eagles in the midfield.

Defensively the Eagles looked much better down back with veterans Sam Butler and Will Schofield back in the team. This may again free up Jeremy McGovern to play a swing role this week. The question is whether the Eagles really want that with Darling back in the team, and there are inevitable questions as to whether the Eagles are playing too tall

Recent Meetings

The Hawks crushed the Eagles twice in the last two seasons at the MCG - 46 points each time - but this Hawks team is not the 2015 premiers, or even the lesser 2016 Hawthorn outfit
2016, Round 22 Subiaco Oval
West Coast 5.3 9.4 12.13 13.14 (92)
Hawthorn 2.1 4.2 7.2 10.7 (67)
Fri 19th Aug 2016 West Coast by 25

2016, Round 2 MCG
Hawthorn 4.4 7.8 11.11 14.15 (99)
West Coast 0.2 4.5 7.8 7.11 (53)
Sun 3rd Apr 2016 Hawthorn by 46

2015, Grand Final MCG
Hawthorn 5.0 9.3 14.5 16.11 (107)
West Coast 1.5 3.8 5.9 8.13 (61)
Sat 3rd Oct 2015 Hawthorn by 46

2015, Qualifying Final Subiaco Oval
West Coast 2.2 7.6 12.11 14.12 (96)
Hawthorn 2.3 2.4 4.9 9.10 (64)
Fri 11th Sep 2015 West Coast by 32

2015, Round 19 Subiaco Oval
Hawthorn 2.3 5.5 8.8 13.10 (88)
West Coast 5.3 6.5 9.6 11.8 (74)
Sat 8th Aug 2015 Hawthorn by 14


Head to Head


Overall: West Coast 26 Hawthorn 22 Draws 0
At MCG West Coast 1 Hawthorn 5 Draws 0

West Coast biggest win: 82 points; West Coast 21.18 (144) d Hawthorn 8.14 (62) at Princes Park, 1991, Round 7
Hawthorn biggest win: 91 points; Hawthorn 19.27 (141) d West Coast 6.14 (50) at Princes Park, 1989, Round 14


Other Matches


Summary

The Hawks are all at sea after letting go Mitchell and Jordan Lewis in the offseason, and the main reason to give them a chance in this game is that they'll be embarrassed to be sitting in this position. However this is a golden opportunity for the Eagles to chalk one up both over Hawthorn away, and at the MCG. It probably won't be easy, but it should be an Eagles victory

Prediction: West Coast by 17 points.



 
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