Hawks’ last Freo win ignored
The Hawks will not draw on their most recent victory over Fremantle when planning their attack this week, given the depleted nature of the side they faced in Tasmania just two weeks ago.
The Hawks smashed Freo in round 21 after Mark Harvey left seven players – Matthew Pavlich, Adam McPhee, Roger Hayden, David Mundy, Stephen Hill, Anthony Morabito and Nathan Fyfe – at home.
Midfielder Paul Hasleby was also a late withdrawal from the match, which Hawthorn eventually won by 116 points.
Hawthorn coach Alastair Clarkson said the coaching panel would not bother reviewing that game ahead of the Hawks’ trip to Subiaco to meet Fremantle in an elimination final this weekend.
“We’ve seen a fair amount of Fremantle over the course of the year and they’re a good side and we know what they’re capable of, irrespective of whether they put their best side on the park against us in Launceston,” Clarkson said on Thursday.
“We’ll be preparing for the very best Fremantle side they can play and brand of footy they can play.
“We haven’t looked at that game in a great amount of depth. We’ve all looked at last week’s game against Carlton and some of their other terrific performances throughout the year.
“It’s more important to focus on their quality brand of footy that they were able to display on numerous occasions throughout the year.”
Clarkson said Fremantle’s ball movement and evenness would be the key weapons the Hawks would need to quell in order to progress through to the second week of finals.
“They’ve got some very dangerous players. It helps a little that [Hayden] Ballantyne isn’t playing; he’s a very important player to their structure,” he said.
“There’s talk of [Matthew] Pavlich and [Aaron] Sandilands and these types of guys but they’ve got 22 goers and their backline is well led by [Luke] McPharlin and [Antoni] Grover.
“Their forward line is very creative. They haven’t got a key potent forward and that makes them even more dangerous because they’ve got numerous attacking weapons.”
Clarkson also said the Hawks’ finals experience was not likely to be a factor in deciding the match.
He confirmed vice-captain Luke Hodge would return to the side as long as he got through Thursday’s training session.