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Rough and ready

Learning role: Jarryd Roughead contests the ruck last season. He is likely to spend more time up forward in 2013.

Learning role: Jarryd Roughead contests the ruck last season. He is likely to spend more time up forward in 2013. Photo: Sebastian Costanzo

JARRYD Roughead says Hawthorn will make the necessary adjustments to its game-plan after Sydney exposed cracks in last year's grand final.

The Hawks were praised for their composure and accurate execution through the home-and-away campaign last season, with their short-kicking style befuddling many opponents. For the second season running, they were ranked No. 1 in the league for kicking efficiency (69 per cent).

But they were fortunate to edge Adelaide in the preliminary final and the Swans' manic tackling a week later had the desired reward as the Hawks struggled to hit targets in a gut-wrenching 10-point loss.

Their kicking efficiency slipped to 53 per cent - four per cent lower than they had ever posted since the statistic was first recorded by Champion Data in 1999. As the pressure rose, the Hawks' kicking efficiency by foot even dipped to 33 per cent in the final term alone, while the Swans' rose to 67 per cent.

Roughead, chatting during a community camp function at Launceston's Aurora Stadium, said the Hawks had digested the lessons of 2009 when the game-plan that carried them to an unexpected flag a year earlier was exposed.

''After '08 too, we probably held on it to it for too long thinking that we were going to be able to flick the switch a little bit in 2009,'' he said.

''But with injuries and the game evolving and changing as much as it did, we didn't change with it.

''Before we knew it, we had missed the finals in '09, then in 2010 we got knocked out by Freo in that final over there. We have had to change and go with the flow.''

It remains to be seen what changes will be made. It's likely Luke Breust will be used more in the midfield, while new stoppage coach Brett Ratten has been working on generating greater run once the ball is won. ''With what we have been able to do in the last couple of years, you would like to think we could still be consistent and up there, hopefully making top four and giving yourself every opportunity,'' Roughead said.

What is likely to remain is Roughead's role as one of the league's most versatile players.

Used as a ruckman and forward last season, he was the Hawks' third-highest goalkicker (41) and, according to Champion Data, was involved in 26 per cent of all scoring chains in the matches he played.

He was the second-most used target inside attacking 50 and kicked a goal more often when he was a target than Lance Franklin.

While his winning percentage and hitouts won weren't great as a ruckman, when he did get first touch he joined Adelaide's Sam Jacobs as having the best hitout-to-advantage percentage of any ruckman.

The 26-year-old was also excellent as a stoppage player, with 49 per cent of his clearances sparking a score - the highest percentage of the top-70 clearance winners.

''With how it has changed with the sub rule, you have got to have in your kit bag an option to play different positions,'' he said.

''Two or three years ago, they [coaches] came to me and said, 'What do you reckon about playing in the ruck?'

''You are a bit stand-offish to it because you didn't know what to expect and you haven't played there before.

''With the coach's confidence, it helps get you through it.''

Refreshed after off-season ankle surgery and a trip to the US, the self-confessed NBA nut is in top condition.

Provided Max Bailey remains fit and becomes the frontline ruckman, Roughead and David Hale will spend less time in that role.

With Franklin and Jack Gunston also imposing marking targets up forward, the Hawks will stretch opponents. But it also prompts the question whether the Hawks could be too top heavy.

''That is up to the coaches and we have the NAB Cup to wriggle things around and see how it works,'' Roughead said.

The Hawks begin their NAB Cup campaign in week two with round-robin matches against the Brisbane Lions and Gold Coast at Metricon Stadium on February 23.

10 comments so far

  • Roughead has the easiest job in football playing alongside Franklin who always draws the best defenders. Unfortunately Roughead played possibly the worst three consecutive individual finals games ever last season and cost the Hawks the flag. All the stats quoted in the article mean nothing at the end of the day.

    Commenter
    Full forward
    Date and time
    February 14, 2013, 12:54PM
    • Fluff forward, Roughead played in the ruck for the bulk of the year. Weren't you paying attention?
      And Hawthorn, whilst beaten by the better team on the day, went into both the Crows and Swans Games without two of their regular backline and ultimately it showed. Bit hard to blame Roughead for that!

      Commenter
      YED
      Date and time
      February 14, 2013, 4:38PM
  • They choked when it mattered.

    Commenter
    DanB
    Location
    Melbourne
    Date and time
    February 14, 2013, 4:11PM
    • Sydney exposed cracks in last year's GF??. Give me a break, cracks have been exposed since 08. Hawthorn is the Great Pretender & how Clarkson get's off so lightly is a farce. Stole the 08 flag and has been the perennial disappointment ever since. missed 09, lose to Freo(!!!) in'10, lost to Collingwood in '11 & scrape into the GF in '12. It's one thing having Franklin showboating down the wing in the H & A series, it's another thing watching him choke in finals, ditto Roughhead and half the others. It's about time the media blowtorch was put on Clarkson as much as it was on Rattan in 2012 and he coached a mediocre Carlton who were never going to make the Finals.

      Commenter
      graham
      Location
      Murrumbeena
      Date and time
      February 14, 2013, 4:19PM
      • BTW Buddy is the one who kept us in the GF in the end. I love watching opposition supporters squirm with jealousy.

        Commenter
        Darkhawk
        Location
        Melbourne
        Date and time
        February 14, 2013, 10:13PM
      • Graham - you've said it !!!! Calrkson has got away with larceny since we pinched 08 away from an overconfident Geelong . . . since then we've been bookies favourite for most games yet perfromed so poorly!! 09 was a disgrace . . . and Franklin!!!!!! OMG yeah he showboats when its going well then falls over and chokes under the slightest pressure!!! We'd be so better off sellign Roughhead for a draft choice and letting Franklin go at the end of the year . . .
        I wish more commentators would call this out but they are to afraid of offending Franklin the AFL's marketing goldmine . . . I am so sick of the group think surrounding him . . .

        We will be 2 and 5 at the end the first seven rounds!!!

        Commenter
        Jamie K
        Location
        South Yarra
        Date and time
        February 14, 2013, 10:23PM
      • So in 2008 we were 17-5 and didn't deserve the flag. In 2012 we were 17-5 and we're chokers. Some people will say anything to bag us (usually people whose teams haven't been as successful in their lifetimes.... hang on, that's everyone isn't it?)

        Commenter
        andyl12
        Date and time
        February 15, 2013, 9:10AM
    • Graham, tough business footy. Stealing Grand Finals hard, making finals hard, getting to Grannies, hard. Ask most other teams who give their all and would trade their record for the Hawks over the last 5 years. Blowtorch!? Why.

      Commenter
      benk
      Location
      melbourne
      Date and time
      February 14, 2013, 6:01PM
      • I'd love to know who Full Forward, DanB and graham go for. Probably they're jealous that they've never seen their team win a flag but Hawthorn have won 6 in my lifetime.

        Commenter
        andyl12
        Date and time
        February 14, 2013, 10:53PM
        • Hawthorn only lost the GF by 8 points, and it could have gone either way. The Swans were classy and relentless in an outstanding game of footy. Give it a rest you bitter Geelong supporters who still haven't got over 08.

          Commenter
          Save the wilderbeest
          Date and time
          February 15, 2013, 8:14AM

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