Friday, May 20, 2016, 7.50pm AEST, Melbourne Cricket Ground, watch on 7, Fox Footy
Hawthorn Hawks: Sixth
Sydney Swans: Fourth
Hawthorn Hawks: 6-2
Sydney Swans: 6-2
Last five match results
Hawthorn Hawks: WWLWW
Sydney Swans: LWWWL
Head-to-head match odds
Hawthorn Hawks: $1.52 with WilliamHill.com.au
Sydney Swans: $2.50 with WilliamHill.com.au
Line betting odds
Hawthorn Hawks: -12.5 ($1.91 with WilliamHill.com.au)
Sydney Swans: +12.5 ($1.91 with WilliamHill.com.au)
SYDNEY Swans star Luke Parker had a barnstorming start to season 2016, but his past fortnight has been less inspiring.
While he had 29 disposals against Essendon a fortnight ago, his use of the footy and general effort wasn’t there.
And then he had a stinker against Richmond, registering just 20 touches in the Swans’ after the siren loss to the Tigers.
It is a far cry from the 40 disposals he had in the opening round against Collingwood, or the 29 possession, three goal tour de force against Brisbane.
But, against the premiership fancies, now is a good a time as any to snap out of his funk.
But can he.
We say it will be very tough.
He clearly doesn’t spend a whole lot of time on the Melbourne Cricket Ground and, being that it will be his second week on foreign territory, up against one of the game’s most unforgiving team’s, his ability to win possession will be fiercely tested.
Last season, in each of the two clashes with the Hawks, Parker had 26 disposals. We reckon that’s about right.
sportsbet.com.au has him at the very skinny odds of $1.12 to collect 25 or more disposals and we think that is better than bank interest.
Steer clear of the 30 or more at $1.76. It seems too short for a player who hasn’t eclipsed the mark since round three.
Both Parker and inspiring Hawk Sam Mitchell are in the top 10 in the league for disposals, but neither has dominated the past fortnight.
In last two weeks have featured a pair of games where he has collected 26 disposals in each.
That sounds like good going for any mild mannered midfielder.
But not The Extractor. It is well down on his regular output, which had fallen below 30 disposals just once in the previous five weeks, including games of 44, 37 and 36.
Gaudy numbers by any one’s standards, but we’re expecting the mini dynamo to get back to his ball winning best in the clinches against Sydney.
Mitchell loves playing the Swans, collecting 33 disposals in a brilliant performance in the 2014 grand final win and then 32 and 28 last season.
The ball magnet will need to be heavily involved if the Hawks are to take this out. This is two of the most competitive sides up against each other and a lot of that starts with Mitchell in the middle.
He is $1.56 with sportsbet.com.au to claim more than 30 disposals and we reckon that is very good going, while you can get $3.40 about him to snare more than 35. He has done that three times already this season, so it is not beyond the realm of possibility.
Match winner: Hawthorn Hawks ($1.52 with WilliamHill.com.au)
Line betting tip: Sydney Swans +12.5 ($1.91 with WilliamHill.com.au)
The Hawks will have been shattered by the news that Jarryd Roughead’s cancer has returned and we’re expecting an inspired effort from the men in brown and gold to do it for their battling team mate.
Roughead, who had lumps cut out of his lip last year and missed a chunk of the season, revealed yesterday that his cancer had returned and he will be out indefinitely while he fights it. He faces three to four months of intensive treatment, leaving the football world in shock and providing an outpour of support for the likeable big forward.
Expect a fierce effort from the experienced Hawks, who will be determined to end the horrible week on a high. That’s not saying the Swans will be without their chances. They put in an absolute stinker against the Tigers at the MCG on Saturday and it still took a Sam Lloyd kick after the siren to vanquish them. They play tough, uncompromising football and ex-Hawk Lance Franklin will have some motivation of his own.
With no Brian Lake, it will be the first time the Hawks have faced the Bondi Millionaire pair of Franklin and Kurt Tippett and you feel the likes of Josh Gibson, James Frawley and Ben Stratton will have their work cut out for them. Some say Franklin is in career best form and it is hard to argue, his bag of five against the Tigers in a losing effort gave him 34 for the season and raised hopes that he might even be able to hit three figures this season. On the flipside, the Hawks completely destroyed a Fremantle side that put in a plucky first half effort, before conceding nine goals in the third term on the weekend. And that team will now welcome back gun midfielder/forward Cyril Rioli for the grudge match, after he missed the weekend’s game, due to an ill family member in the Northern Territory, but heart and soul captain Luke Hodge will again miss, due to the ligament damage in his knee, which is set to keep him on the injury rack for at lest the next three weeks.
We’re fired up for this one and you should be two. It is a clash between two of the toughest, most skilled teams in the AFL and we’re expecting it to be closely fought, with the Swans putting up a mighty effort, only to be just shaded by a Hawthorn side that is set to do it for the Orange Roughy.
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