Friday, September 16, 2016, 7.50pm AEST, Melbourne Cricket Ground.
Hawthorn Hawks: Third
Western Bulldogs: Seventh
Hawthorn Hawks: 17-5
Western Bulldogs: 15-7
Last five match results:
Hawthorn Hawks: LWLWL
Western Bulldogs: WWWLW
Finals week one results:
Hawthorn Hawks lost to Geelong Cats, 12.11 (83) to 12.13 (85)
Western Bulldogs defeated West Coast Eagles, 14.15 (99) to 7.10 (52)
Hawthorn Hawks: $1.45 with CrownBet.com.au
Western Bulldogs: $2.80 with CrownBet.com.au
Hawthorn Hawks: -14.5 ($1.92 with Sportsbet.com.au)
Western Bulldogs: +14.5 ($1.92 with Sportsbet.com.au)
IS this the end of the Hawks dynasty?
Anyone who isn’t a Hawthorn supporter hopes so.
But let’s just temper that for a moment.
They will take on a young, hungry Western Bulldogs side that will be buoyant after somehow knocking over the West Coast Eagles on their home deck in the elimination final last Thursday night.
But the Hawks were certainly not disgraced in a loss to the Cats in the qualifier that was decided by less than a kick.
The rampant Dogs ran rings around the Eagles, consigning them to a 47 point defeat.
Luke Dahlhaus might be the most under rated forward in the game, but he was in everything with 29 possessions and nine tackles.
Caleb Daniel – who was narrowly pipped for the Rising Star – did as he pleased, amassing 33 disposals and giving the selectors plenty to think about, after they awarded the gong to Sydney’s Callum Mills.
Dahlhaus has had a sensational season, that was cruelled by injury in the middle parts, but his performance against the Hawks in round three was perhaps his finest.
He amassed 33 disposals and booted two goals to get his side within a whisker of upsetting the three-peat premiership side.
And we’re backing him to repeat there dose. He is injury free and back to his best, ready wreak havoc on the Hawks again. Back him to go one better than his West Coast effort and eclipse the 30 disposal mark at $2.25 with Sportsbet.com.au
In that match, the Hawks hung on by just three points against an onslaught from the Dogs, 14.9 (93) to 13.12 (90).
Inspirational Dog Bob Murphy did his knee in the dying seconds of the match as Daniel racked up 29 disposals to announce himself as a formidable force in the game.
Cyril Rioli kicked three goals and the Hawks got 29 touches and eight tackles and he is, again, our pick to snare over 30 in the match at $1.53 with sportsbet.com.au.
Marcus Bontempelli was quiet against the Hawks earlier this season and wasn’t himself against the Eagles, but we’re backing him to step up in the big game and grab the first for the Dogs, at a juicy $20 with Sportsbet.com.au.
The Hawks, at times, dominated the Cats on Friday night, and it all came down to one kick of the footy.
Isaac Smith had a crack at the goals after the siren that would have given the Hawks yet another single digit win and a stepping stone into the preliminary final.
His boot was wide and the Hawks now have to take on the young Dogs, who are hungry for success.
The old firm of Jordan Lewis (36), Mitchell (30) and Luke Hodge (29) were as dynamic as ever and it was hard to fault the Hawks performance as Luke Breust found some form with three goals and four other players booted two goals each.
We’re sticking with Breust in the first goal market at $11 with sportsbet.com.au.
He was the most dangerous Hawks forward last week and has appeared to finally broken out of his form slump.
One guy who did a fantastic job on Cats’ defensive dynamo Harry Taylor was the often maligned Ryan Schoenmakers.
Shoey played the defensive role on Taylor and held him to account, while hurting the Cats on the scoreboard with two goals of his own.
We like him as an outsider to boot the first goal in this game at $18.
Player Props picks
First goal scorer predictions – Hawthorn Hawks:
Luke Breust ($11 with Sportsbet.com.au)
First goal scorer predictions – Western Bulldogs:
Disposal tips – Hawthorn Hawks:
Sam Mitchell to have 30 or more disposals ($1.53 with Sportsbet.com.au)
Disposal tips – Western Bulldogs:
Luke Dahlhaus to have 30 disposals or more ($2.25 with Sportsbet.com.au)
Match result: Hawthorn Hawks to win ($1.45 with CrownBet.com.au)
Line betting: Hawthorn Hawks -14.5 ($1.92 with Sportsbet.com.au)
We think there is still a few tricks left in the old dog and the Hawks will draw on their infinite big game experience to take this one out. It’s not like they were hammered by the Cats. They were the better team for more than half of their qualifying final and it came down to one kick. It could go either way. The trip west is the toughest in the game and to win their consumes a huge amount of energy. While we love the Dogs and it would be a fairy tale to see them claim the 2016 premiership, we reckon they spent plenty of tickets in Perth and will struggle to replicate that form against a team that has done this so many times before.
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