HAWTHORN v MELBOURNE
MCG, Friday 0750 PM
The Hawks were their own worst enemies against the Tigers, failing to take their chances early in the match. The Wolf judges Hawthorn’s performance differently because they lost to a team that is the dominant favourite for the Premiership. The positive for punters is that there is plenty to improve on for Alastair Clarkson’s side against the Demons. The first thing is that the Hawks need to match Melbourne’s energy in the first quarter.
In a week where most of the teams struggled to kick straight, the Hawks actually had a higher conversion rate than the Tigers but unlike Melbourne they couldn’t get the ball into their own 50 to create scoring opportunities. The Hawks had 11 scoring shots less than the Tigers and an incredible 30 less inside 50s.
The Wolf spoke last week about how important it was for the Demons to get a quick start in their elimination final, just as Simon Goodwin’s side had done against West Coast a couple of weeks ago. Melbourne to win the first quarter was one of our recommended bets and it paid off easily. A 5.3 first term to just 0.2 points for the Cats saw the Demons go into the first break with a 31 point lead and all the momentum.
Just when it looked like the Demons were going to run away with the match, they score just one more goal before three quarter time! The conversion rate between Melbourne and Geelong was almost identical, with the Demons at 40% and the Cats at 37.5%. The difference was the total scoring shots which should give Melbourne fans hope that if they can kick straight they are actually generating enough attack to kick another winnable score.
STATS THAT MATTER
- Tom Mitchell did everything possible to get the Hawks into the game against the Tigers. The ball magnet had 38 disposals (23 contested), 4 tackles, 11 clearances and 4 rebound 50s as the Hawks transitioned into attack.
- Max Gawn dominated the ruck with 42 hitouts and even popped up to provide a tall option in the forward line with a crucial goal in the Demons opening quarter blitz.
- Clayton Oliver (30 disposals, 5 inside 50s, 5 clearances), Angus Brayshaw (26 disposals, 5 tackles, 5 inside 50s) and James Harmes (26 disposals, 10 tackles, 7 inside 50s) imposed themselves on the game against the Cats. Alongside Petracca and the returning Jack Viney the young Demons bring incredible pressure and physicality to the contest.
WHAT TO EXPECT
The Demons at their best can win this match, but they were wildly inconsistent in their elimination final. Melbourne simply aren’t going to win this match scoring a single goal in the second and third quarters.If you take out the first quarter the rest of that match actually finished +2 points in favour of the Cats. If the Hawks can get to quarter time level with the Demons they will be in the box seat. The first 30 minutes is crucial.
The market has the Demons as strong favourites to win with the line set at just over two goals (13.5). Melbourne certainly has the momentum and the belief but the Wolf thinks the Hawks will bounce back with the score in the range of 70-80.
HOW IT’S SHAPING UP
Hawks by 11 points
BEST BETS: Hawthorn 1-39 ($3.15), Total points under 165.5 ($1.88), Hawks +13.5 ($1.92)