WEST COAST EAGLES v HAWTHORN
FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 9, 6:20WST
FORECAST: 22 degrees, rain.
WEST COAST EAGLES:
B: Shannon Hurn, Will Schofield, Sharrod Wellingham
HB: Xavier Ellis, Jeremy McGovern, Elliot Yeo
C: Andrew Gaff, Matt Priddis, Brad Sheppard
HF: Mark Hutchings, Jack Darling, Mark LeCras
F: Jamie Cripps, Josh Kennedy, Josh Hill
R: Nic Naitanui, Scott Selwood, Luke Shuey
I/C: Sam Butler, Matt Rosa, Callum Sinclair, Dom Sheed
EMG: Patrick McGinnity, Jackson Nelson, Murray Newman
IN: Will Schofield, Scott Selwood
OUT: Chris Masten (hamstring), Jackson Nelson
B: Taylor Duryea, Brian Lake, Ben Stratton
HB: Grant Birchall, Josh Gibson, Shaun Burgoyne
C: Bradley Hill, Luke Hodge, Isaac Smith
HF: Jack Gunston, James Frawley, Cyril Rioli
F: Luke Breust, Jarryd Roughead, David Hale
R: Ben McEvoy, Sam Mitchell, Jordan Lewis
I/C: Will Langford, Paul Puopolo, Liam Shiels, Matthew Suckling
EMG: Jon Ceglar, Billy Hartung, Dan Howe
IN: Luke Hodge, Cyril Rioli, Luke Breust
OUT: Angus Litherland, Dan Howe, James Sicily
Round 19, 2015 - West Coast 11.8.(74) def. by Hawthorn 13.10.(88)
Round 12, 2014 - Hawthorn 19.9.(123) def. West Coast 12.7.(79)
Round 13, 2013 - Hawthorn 19.9.(123) def. West Coast 16.7.(103)
Round 2, 2013 - West Coast 15.8.(98) def. by Hawthorn 23.10.(148)
Round 12, 2012 - Hawthorn 14.11.(95) def. West Coast 10.10.(70)
JOSH KENNEDY (WEST COAST) -
The first time Coleman Medal winner has had a terrific season where he has kicked 75 goals to date. Kennedy kicked four goals in the pouring rain the last time these two teams met in round 19. Kennedy has had an outstanding season, one of just three players in the competition to kick at least one goal a game this season. The other two were Eddie Betts and Jeff Garlett (sorry Blues fans). If Kennedy can get on the scoreboard early and gets his hands dirty early, he'll be in for a good night.
LUKE SHUEY (WEST COAST) -
With the likely exclusion of star midfielder Matt Priddis from tonight's game, Luke Shuey is the man to step up. Shuey is a terrific footballer and lives for the big games. A goal-kicking midfielder is the most valuable type of player you can have in your side and if Shuey can get on the scoreboard tonight, as well as have an impact in the midfield, it'll go a long way to the Eagles winning this match and through to a home preliminary final.
CYRIL RIOLI (HAWTHORN) -
Some think that he's overrated, but personally, he's one guy I could watch every single week. Sure he has his quiet games but who doesn't? When Cyril is on his game, he's very hard to stop and given the likely conditions of wet and slippery, it certainly is in the ball park for Rioli to have a big impact on this game. A week's rest and fresh to go, look out!
LUKE HODGE (HAWTHORN) -
Given his off-field incident of being caught drink-driving last week, Hodge will be out to prove a point and earn a little bit of respect back from the football community. Hodge lives and breathes finals football, and you only need to look at the last two finals appearances to understand that. Hodge is averaging 27 disposals this season despite missing five games for the year.
STATS THAT MATTER: -
- West Coast has played top eight teams ten times this season, winning just the five out of the ten, including going down to Hawthorn in Round 19. Hawthorn has played eight and won six.
- Hawthorn uses the ball better by disposal by just 3% with the Hawks averaging 76% disposal efficiency
- West Coast leads the Hawks in contested possessions, averaging 141 per game, with the Hawks marginally behind averaging 135.
- Both teams are averaging 14 marks inside 50 per game, as well as 13 tackles inside 50 per match.
- Hawthorn (2452) and West Coast (2330) are number one and two in scoring this season.
Just one of many games this weekend that is tough to predict and with the likely weather conditions to play a big part, this game could really go either way.
I'm expecting Hawthorn to come out breathing fire however if they do lose Isaac Smith, especially on a big ground, that will be a massive loss, although the likely inclusion of Billy Hartung would be a welcome addition, given his endurance and pace.
For the Eagles, Matt Priddis is almost certain to miss with a thigh injury according to reports, and if he does, others will definitely need to stand up.
If the Eagles can manage the impact of the Hawthorn forward line of Gunston, Roughead, Rioli and Breust and can win the battle in the midfield, it'll go a long way to winning the game.
However, just judging this game on paper and the experience the Hawks have, I cannot ignore that and think the Hawks will get the job done and earn a home preliminary final.
Hawthorn by 10 points.