JavaScript disabled. Please enable JavaScript to use My News, My Clippings, My Comments and user settings.

If you have trouble accessing our login form below, you can go to our login page.

If you have trouble accessing our login form below, you can go to our login page.

Cats face a tall order to claim Hawks' scalp again


Jesse Hogan

Geelong's Trent West, left, pictured battling with Carlton's Robert Warnock, will miss the clash against Hawthorn.

Geelong's Trent West, left, pictured battling with Carlton's Robert Warnock, will miss the clash against Hawthorn. Photo: Sebastian Costanzo

MCG, 7.50pm

HAWTHORN'S bolstering of its ruck depth for tonight's match against Geelong has coincided with the reigning premier having to field its weakest ruck division for the year.

The boosts provided to the Cats by the return of Matthew Scarlett (suspension) and James Podsiadly (injury) have been undermined by the loss of first-choice ruckman Trent West with a knee injury.

This will leave Andrew Mackie as the Cats' only player to have played every match this season.

In West's absence, Geelong will have to primarily rely on mature-age recruit Orren Stephenson to compete against Max Bailey, the fit-again David Hale and possibly even Jarryd Roughead.

Geelong lost midfielder Joel Corey to a hamstring strain, as expected, and dropped Cameron Guthrie. Livewire forward Steve Johnson was named despite suffering concussion last Saturday. Hale's inclusion for Shane Savage was the Hawks' only change.

Hawthorn coach Alastair Clarkson is not liberal with self-congratulation, so for him to volunteer yesterday that Hawthorn had improved this year was either out of character or simply stating the obvious.

Much focus on tonight's match at the MCG has been on the Hawks' inability to beat the Cats in eight attempts since their 2008 grand final triumph.

But Clarkson said he was more concerned with gauging his second-placed team against the Cats, at present sixth on the ladder, with an eye to the finals.

"The big difference is the sides are just so different," he said yesterday. "We're a very, very different side even to the side that played [Geelong] in round two this year. We don't put any great weight on [our losing streak to them].

"We were really competitive last year . . . but the whole football world probably knew Geelong and Collingwood were the better sides in the competition. This year, we're wanting to test whether or not we've actually made up some ground.

"The ladder positions at the current time suggest we have; our clashes with Geelong haven't suggested that yet. We need to get a scalp . . . hopefully that's tomorrow night."

Hawthorn's desire to prove its premiership mettle did not sway it to recall Lance Franklin. The gun spearhead

has missed the Hawks' past three matches because of a hamstring injury and will miss his fourth tonight.

Clarkson said he was hopeful the Coleman Medal leader's stint on the sidelines would not extend to five next weekend.

"He's nearly there but we just want to make sure he's completely over this little niggle," he said.

Hawthorn's two-point loss to Geelong in round two was one of only two instances this season, alongside Richmond's round-16 capitulation to Gold Coast, where the team that led in all three of contested possessions, disposal efficiency and tackles did not also win the match.

Clarkson said the changes in both teams since round two, for both personnel and game style, had been significant.

"I don't want to blow our own trumpet . . . we've just been happy with even the contribution we've had from a whole heap of players," he replied when asked how the Hawks had improved since their previous meeting with the Cats. "We've been able to cope really well without [Luke] Hodge for the bulk of the year and 'Buddy' [Franklin] certainly over the past three weeks. To be able to have an even contribution [despite those injuries] is probably the most pleasing thing."

With Hawthorn on an eight-match winning streak but now having to face recent nemesis Geelong — whose tackling ferocity has conspicuously surged in its past two matches — Clarkson said he expected the match tonight would be a "fierce battle".


  • Be on your best behaviour, Clarkson - you're playing the Geelong under 9's.

    Date and time
    August 03, 2012, 8:40AM
    • No need to worry their Jenz, Clarko won't be punching holes in walls, but his Players will be punching holes in the Midfield and Geelong's Back the end of the day he will be a very Happy man!!!

      General Soreness
      Date and time
      August 03, 2012, 10:51AM
    • Jenz...Dude...When you've had a list full of geriatrics for the past few some point you've got to introduce your under 9's. Its amazing how the Cat supporters are mentioning injuries when they've been the luckiest team over a long stint when it comes to injuries, thats helped them secure 3 Premierships in 5 years! Cat Fans your time has come!!!!

      Date and time
      August 03, 2012, 1:11PM
  • Making excuses already Jenz......

    Will Turner
    Date and time
    August 03, 2012, 11:21AM
    • I am a cats fan, with West and Corey out we'll be smashed in the midfield all night.

      Date and time
      August 03, 2012, 11:21AM
      • @J0hn I doubt that very much. Any team with J.Selwood, J.Bartel, S.Johnson & J. Kelly in the middle wont be smshed by anyone! Should Be a ripper game though.

        creepy crawler
        Date and time
        August 03, 2012, 12:54PM
      • John,

        So you have no faith in Bartel, Selwood, Johnson and Chapman! Come on....these guys have done it for you for so many years! Why the excuses?

        Date and time
        August 03, 2012, 1:13PM
    • In round 18 this year the average age and games played of Hawthorn players was 25 years and 22 days and 102 games. The average age and games played by Geelong players was 25 years 182 days and 111 games.

      No need to imply Geelong are the only ones blooding youth in this game Jenz.....

      Date and time
      August 03, 2012, 11:31AM
      • Jack, averages are misleading - I could play a 11 three year olds and 11 forty-seven year olds in a team and the average age would be 25. Key question is how many players Hawthorn are playing aged about 23-28 and with 70+ games versus the same for Geelong. Think you will find Geelong has many younger, less exprienced players in the team.

        Date and time
        August 03, 2012, 1:19PM
      • TGIF these stats are not misleading. Last week Hawthorn played 10 players with less than 70 games experience. Geelong played 9. That means Hawthorn has more younger less experienced players in the team.

        Date and time
        August 03, 2012, 2:29PM

    More comments

    Comments are now closed

    Related Coverage

    HuffPost Australia

    AFL 2015

    Round 1
    Thu, 02 AprTimes shown AEDT
    CAR 78vs RIC 105 Report Stats
    Sat, 04 AprTimes shown AEDT
    MEL 115vs GCF 89 Stats
    SYD 72vs ESS 60 Stats
    BRI 74vs COL 86 Stats
    WBU 97vs WCE 87 Stats
    Sun, 05 AprTimes shown AEST
    STK 78vs GWS 87 Stats
    ADE 140vs NTH 63 Stats
    FRE 75vs PTA 68 Stats
    Mon, 06 AprTimes shown AEST
    HAW 123vs GEE 61 Stats
    View All Fixtures
    Round 2
    Fri, 10 AprTimes shown AEST
    WCE 131vs CAR 62 Stats
    Sat, 11 AprTimes shown AEST
    RIC 66vs WBU 85 Report Stats
    GWS 101vs MEL 56 Stats
    COL 63vs ADE 90 Report Stats
    GCF 76vs STK 104 Stats
    PTA 44vs SYD 92 Stats
    Sun, 12 AprTimes shown AEST
    GEE 60vs FRE 104 Stats
    ESS 78vs HAW 76 Stats
    NTH 133vs BRI 51 Stats
    View All Fixtures
    Round 3
    Fri, 17 AprTimes shown AEST
    COL 140vs STK 66 Stats
    Sat, 18 AprTimes shown AEST
    CAR 84vs ESS 105 Stats
    ADE 80vs MEL 55 Stats
    SYD 111vs GWS 90 Report Stats
    NTH 105vs PTA 113 Stats
    BRI 58vs RIC 137 Stats
    Sun, 19 AprTimes shown AEST
    HAW 127vs WBU 57 Stats
    GEE 105vs GCF 96 Stats
    WCE 81vs FRE 111 Stats
    View All Fixtures
    Round 4
    Fri, 24 AprTimes shown AEST
    RIC 51vs MEL 83 Stats
    Sat, 25 AprTimes shown AEST
    STK 81vs CAR 121 Report Report Stats
    ESS 49vs COL 69 Report Stats
    GWS 119vs GCF 53 Stats
    PTA 99vs HAW 91 Stats
    FRE 74vs SYD 60 Stats
    Sun, 26 AprTimes shown AEST
    BRI 65vs WCE 118 Stats
    GEE 67vs NTH 83 Stats
    WBU 125vs ADE 68 Stats
    View All Fixtures
    Round 5
    Fri, 01 MayTimes shown AEST
    CAR 45vs COL 120 Stats
    Sat, 02 MayTimes shown AEST
    RIC 76vs GEE 85 Stats
    SYD 73vs WBU 77 Stats
    GCF 118vs BRI 54 Stats
    NTH 70vs HAW 130 Stats
    WCE 120vs GWS 33 Stats
    Sun, 03 MayTimes shown AEST
    MEL 50vs FRE 118 Stats
    STK 80vs ESS 82 Stats
    ADE 91vs PTA 115 Stats
    View All Fixtures
    Round 6
    Fri, 08 MayTimes shown AEST
    COL 59vs GEE 100 Stats
    Sat, 09 MayTimes shown AEST
    NTH 109vs RIC 74 Stats
    WBU 87vs STK 94 Stats
    GWS 108vs HAW 98 Stats
    GCF 78vs ADE 119 Stats
    MEL 50vs SYD 88 Stats
    FRE 80vs ESS 52 Stats
    Sun, 10 MayTimes shown AEST
    CAR 75vs BRI 84 Report Stats
    PTA 68vs WCE 78 Stats
    View All Fixtures
    Round 7
    Fri, 15 MayTimes shown AEST
    ESS 82vs NTH 93 Stats
    Sat, 16 MayTimes shown AEST
    ADE 119vs STK 73 Stats
    HAW 155vs MEL 50 Stats
    CAR 57vs GWS 135 Stats
    SYD 120vs GEE 77 Stats
    WCE 135vs GCF 43 Stats
    Sun, 17 MayTimes shown AEST
    WBU 88vs FRE 101 Stats
    RIC 105vs COL 100 Report Stats
    BRI 102vs PTA 65 Report Stats
    View All Fixtures
    Round 8
    Fri, 22 MayTimes shown AEST
    GEE 140vs CAR 63 Report Stats
    Sat, 23 MayTimes shown AEST
    STK 78vs WCE 131 Report Stats
    GWS 108vs ADE 84 Report Stats
    GCF 63vs COL 132 Report Stats
    HAW 69vs SYD 73 Report Stats
    FRE 115vs NTH 42 Report Stats
    Sun, 24 MayTimes shown AEST
    ESS 136vs BRI 78 Report Stats
    MEL 103vs WBU 64 Report Stats
    PTA 43vs RIC 76 Report Stats
    View All Fixtures
    Round 9
    Fri, 29 MayTimes shown AEST
    SYD 122vs CAR 62 Report Stats
    Sat, 30 MayTimes shown AEST
    HAW 93vs GCF 40 Report Stats
    MEL 54vs PTA 115 Report Stats
    WBU 113vs GWS 68 Report Stats
    RIC 72vs ESS 59 Report Stats
    ADE 57vs FRE 68 Report Stats
    Sun, 31 MayTimes shown AEST
    BRI 86vs STK 108 Report Stats
    COL 112vs NTH 95 Report Stats
    WCE 120vs GEE 64 Report Stats
    View All Fixtures
    Round 10
    Fri, 05 JunTimes shown AEST
    FRE 70vs RIC 97 Report Stats
    Sat, 06 JunTimes shown AEST
    CAR 90vs ADE 99 Report Stats
    GCF 41vs SYD 93 Report Stats
    ESS 53vs GEE 122 Report Stats
    PTA 100vs WBU 62 Report Stats
    Sun, 07 JunTimes shown AEST
    GWS 97vs BRI 67 Report Stats
    NTH 85vs WCE 75 Report Stats
    STK 69vs HAW 132 Report Stats
    Mon, 08 JunTimes shown AEST
    MEL 85vs COL 110 Report Stats
    View All Fixtures
    Round 11
    Fri, 12 JunTimes shown AEST
    PTA 69vs GEE 92 Report Stats
    Sat, 13 JunTimes shown AEST
    GCF 46vs FRE 53 Report Stats
    WCE 96vs ESS 46 Report Stats
    NTH 75vs SYD 91 Report Report Stats
    Sun, 14 JunTimes shown AEST
    COL 119vs GWS 77 Report Stats
    STK 85vs MEL 83 Report Stats
    View All Fixtures
    Round 12
    Thu, 18 JunTimes shown AEST
    ADE 85vs HAW 114 Report Stats
    Fri, 19 JunTimes shown AEST
    RIC 70vs WCE 90 Report Stats
    Sat, 20 JunTimes shown AEST
    CAR 110vs PTA 106 Report Stats
    GWS 61vs NTH 117 Report Stats
    WBU 146vs BRI 74 Report Stats
    Sun, 21 JunTimes shown AEST
    GEE 89vs MEL 113 Report Stats
    View All Fixtures
    Round 13
    Thu, 25 JunTimes shown AEST
    FRE 80vs COL 73 Report Stats
    Fri, 26 JunTimes shown AEST
    SYD 77vs RIC 95 Report Stats
    Sat, 27 JunTimes shown AEST
    HAW 114vs ESS 76 Report Stats
    BRI 69vs ADE 82 Report Stats
    STK 56vs WBU 62 Report Stats
    Sun, 28 JunTimes shown AEST
    CAR 103vs GCF 69 Report Stats
    View All Fixtures
    Round 14
    Thu, 02 JulTimes shown AEST
    SYD 94vs PTA 84 Report Stats
    Fri, 03 JulTimes shown AEST
    COL 91vs HAW 101 Report Stats
    Sat, 04 JulTimes shown AEST
    RIC 78vs GWS 69 Report Stats
    GCF 125vs NTH 70 Report Stats
    WBU 64vs CAR 53 Report Stats
    MEL 60vs WCE 114 Report Stats
    Sun, 05 JulTimes shown AEST
    ESS 52vs STK 162 Stats
    ADE vs GEE 15:20Adelaide Oval
    FRE 84vs BRI 48 Report Stats
    View All Fixtures
    Round 15
    Thu, 09 JulTimes shown AEST
    PTA 66vs COL 63 Report Stats
    Fri, 10 JulTimes shown AEST
    RIC 71vs CAR 41 Report Stats
    Sat, 11 JulTimes shown AEST
    ESS 69vs MEL 60 Report Stats
    WBU 95vs GCF 73 Report Stats
    NTH 120vs GEE 79 Report Stats
    WCE 147vs ADE 91 Report Stats
    Sun, 12 JulTimes shown AEST
    GWS 84vs STK 49 Report Stats
    HAW 115vs FRE 43 Report Stats
    BRI 49vs SYD 70 Report Stats
    View All Fixtures
    Round 16
    Fri, 17 JulTimes shown AEST
    NTH 93vs ESS 68 Report Stats
    Sat, 18 JulTimes shown AEST
    GEE 72vs WBU 64 Report Stats
    GCF 79vs GWS 94 Report Stats
    COL 56vs WCE 87 Report Stats
    SYD 57vs HAW 146 Report Stats
    FRE 95vs CAR 53 Report Stats
    Sun, 19 JulTimes shown AEST
    MEL 60vs BRI 36 Report Stats
    PTA 113vs ADE 116 Report Stats
    STK 73vs RIC 89 Report Stats
    View All Fixtures
    Round 17
    Fri, 24 JulTimes shown AEST
    CAR 35vs HAW 173 Report Stats
    Sat, 25 JulTimes shown AEST
    GWS 42vs GEE 69 Stats
    ADE 125vs GCF 80 Stats
    RIC 78vs FRE 82 Stats
    ESS 116vs PTA 129 Stats
    BRI 38vs NTH 110 Report Stats
    Sun, 26 JulTimes shown AEST
    WBU 104vs COL 86 Report Stats
    MEL 46vs STK 83 Report Stats
    WCE 103vs SYD 51 Report Stats
    View All Fixtures
    Round 18
    Fri, 31 JulTimes shown AEST
    HAW 53vs RIC 71 Report Stats
    Sat, 01 AugTimes shown AEST
    GEE 113vs BRI 57 Stats
    COL 54vs MEL 91 Report Stats
    SYD 117vs ADE 65 Report Stats
    CAR 54vs NTH 118 Report Stats
    GCF 83vs WCE 83 Report Stats
    Sun, 02 AugTimes shown AEST
    PTA 112vs STK 49 Report Stats
    ESS 40vs WBU 127 Report Stats
    FRE 84vs GWS 63 Report Stats
    View All Fixtures
    Round 19
    Fri, 07 AugTimes shown AEST
    ADE 88vs RIC 52 Report Stats
    Sat, 08 AugTimes shown AEST
    COL 105vs CAR 87 Report Stats
    WBU 128vs PTA 64 Report Stats
    BRI 100vs GCF 114 Report Stats
    GEE 95vs SYD 63 Report Stats
    WCE 74vs HAW 88 Report Stats
    Sun, 09 AugTimes shown AEST
    MEL 92vs NTH 127 Report Stats
    GWS 93vs ESS 61 Report Stats
    STK 59vs FRE 96 Report Stats
    View All Fixtures
    Round 20
    Fri, 14 AugTimes shown AEST
    SYD 87vs COL 76 Report Stats
    Sat, 15 AugTimes shown AEST
    ESS 59vs ADE 171 Report Stats
    NTH 120vs STK 83 Report Stats
    PTA 111vs GWS 90 Report Stats
    GEE 85vs HAW 121 Report Stats
    BRI 131vs CAR 67 Report Stats
    Sun, 16 AugTimes shown AEST
    RIC 138vs GCF 55 Report Stats
    WBU 153vs MEL 55 Report Stats
    FRE 80vs WCE 104 Report Stats
    View All Fixtures
    Round 21
    Fri, 21 AugTimes shown AEST
    HAW 86vs PTA 108 Report Stats
    Sat, 22 AugTimes shown AEST
    COL 56vs RIC 147 Report Stats
    GWS 44vs SYD 133 Report Stats
    GCF 97vs ESS 95 Report Stats
    STK 97vs GEE 97 Report Stats
    ADE 131vs BRI 44 Report Stats
    Sun, 23 AugTimes shown AEST
    NTH 94vs FRE 83 Report Stats
    CAR 78vs MEL 55 Report Stats
    WCE 162vs WBU 85 Report Stats
    View All Fixtures
    Round 22
    Fri, 28 AugTimes shown AEST
    GEE 62vs COL 110 Report Stats
    Sat, 29 AugTimes shown AEST
    GWS 132vs CAR 51 Report Stats
    HAW 134vs BRI 62 Report Stats
    NTH 73vs WBU 96 Report Stats
    ESS 47vs RIC 74 Report Stats
    GCF 51vs PTA 88 Report Stats
    Sun, 30 AugTimes shown AEST
    ADE 126vs WCE 69 Report Stats
    STK 38vs SYD 135 Report Stats
    FRE 108vs MEL 54 Report Stats
    View All Fixtures
    Round 23
    Fri, 04 SepTimes shown AEST
    RIC 108vs NTH 67 Report Stats
    Sat, 05 SepTimes shown AEST
    GEE 119vs ADE 80 Report Stats
    BRI 130vs WBU 122 Report Stats
    PTA 122vs FRE 53 Report Stats
    HAW 113vs CAR 56 Report Stats
    SYD 127vs GCF 64 Report Stats
    WCE 125vs STK 30 Report Stats
    Sun, 06 SepTimes shown AEST
    MEL 103vs GWS 77 Report Stats
    COL 92vs ESS 95 Report Stats
    View All Fixtures
    Round 24
    Fri, 11 SepTimes shown AEST
    WCE 96vs HAW 64 Report Stats
    Sat, 12 SepTimes shown AEST
    FRE 69vs SYD 60 Report Stats
    WBU 102vs ADE 109 Report Stats
    Sun, 13 SepTimes shown AEST
    RIC 88vs NTH 105 Report Stats
    View All Fixtures
    Round 25
    Fri, 18 SepTimes shown AEST
    HAW 135vs ADE 61 Report Stats
    Sat, 19 SepTimes shown AEST
    SYD 51vs NTH 77 Report Report Stats
    View All Fixtures
    Round 26
    Fri, 25 SepTimes shown AEST
    FRE 67vs HAW 94 Report Stats
    Sat, 26 SepTimes shown AEST
    WCE 80vs NTH 55 Report Stats
    View All Fixtures
    Round 27
    Sat, 03 OctTimes shown AEST
    HAW 107vs WCE 61 Report Stats
    View All Fixtures
    AFL 2015
    Overall standings
    Team P W L D % Pts
    Fremantle 22 17 5 0 118.73 68
    West Coast Eagles 22 16 5 1 148.22 66
    Hawthorn 22 16 6 0 158.40 64
    Sydney Swans 22 16 6 0 127.12 64
    Richmond 22 15 7 0 123.09 60
    Western Bulldogs 22 14 8 0 115.12 56
    Adelaide Crows 21 13 8 0 115.71 54
    North Melbourne 22 13 9 0 106.45 52
    View all

    Follow Us on Facebook

    Featured advertisers