In Melbourne at the moment you can feel it in the air; finals footy is upon us and there is something to be excited about other than the weather getting warmer. This weekend’s game in Melbourne sees Hawthorn hosting Adelaide in a twilight game at the MCG on Saturday. Yes, we could get sidetracked by the hoo-ha that the Hawks deserve the Friday night game but instead I’m going to keep this preview all about the match.
We have a big game of footy on our hands with the Hawks coming off a week’s break and the Crows gaining a preliminary final berth after a ten point win against an impressive Fremantle. Hawthorn’s last game, a convincing 38 point win against Collingwood in the qualifying final, shot them into clear finals favouritism and gave them the coveted week’s break. Adelaide, despite finishing second on the ladder at the end of the home and away season, lost at home to Sydney in the qualifying final and looked shaky early on against Fremantle in last week’s semi-final. With a great second half from forward Taylor Walker the Crows got past Fremantle and will throw everything they can at the Hawks in an effort to qualify for their first Grand Final since 1998.
While Adelaide has the ‘Tex’ factor, the Hawks can trump it with the ‘Buddy’ factor so it will be a question of which club’s key forward is going to fire. Ins and outs could also be a turning point with Hawks Jordan Lewis and Clinton Young set to return this week while a question mark remains over Adelaide’s Jared Petrenko who dislocated his shoulder last weekend. It’s going to be a hard fought four quarters with the Hawks eager to live up to their favourites tag and Adelaide keen to prove you can finish 14th one year and make the Grand Final the next.
For as many updates as possible from the MCG on Saturday before, during and after the 5.15pm match follow me, @PlayUp_Hawthorn, and join the conversation by downloading app.playup.com.
By Gen Simmons, @PlayUp_Hawthorn