Freo in solid final hitout
FREMANTLE 3.4 4.4 7.8 12.11 (83)
HAWTHORN 5.1 8.4 9.6 13.8 (86)
Fremantle: Hill (2), Mzungu (2), Ballantyne (2), Anthony (2) Fyfe, Pearce, Pavlich, de Boer
Hawthorn: Franklin )3), Hale (3), Mitchell, Lewis, Rioli, Sucklling, Gunston, Puopolo, McCauley
Fremantle: Broughton, Hill, Crowley, Mzungu, Clarke, Fyfe
Hawthorn: Mitchell, Lewis, Franklin, Hale, Sewell, Rioli
Fremantle: Johnson (ankle), McPharlin (head)
Hawthorn: Smith (head)
Umpires: Margetts, Farmer, McPhee, O’Neill
Crowd: approx. 5,316 at Patersons Stadium
Hawthorn has held on to finish its NAB Cup campaign with a three-point win over Fremantle at Patersons Stadium.
After building a 24-point lead at half-time, the Hawks faded dramatically in the second half but recovered late to win 13.8 (86) to 12.11 (83).
Fremantle suffered two injury scares in the hard-fought clash, with Michael Johnson taken from the ground in the second quarter with a left ankle injury and Luke McPharlin concussed moments later.
Coach Ross Lyon said both injuries were not serious and he expected the backline pair to be available in round one against Geelong at Patersons Stadium.
“They’ve got two week (before round one) and on the surface they’re minor [injuries] and they should be available for selection,” the coach said post-match.
Lance Franklin dominated the first half, kicking three goals and winning 16 possessions before being held goalless after half-time to finish with 25 disposals.
Fremantle, which is still waiting for injured midfielders David Mundy and Michael Barlow to return, would have been pleased with the form of Greg Broughton (29 disposals) and Stephen Hill (25 and two goals).
Ryan Crowley tagged Hawthorn skipper Luke Hodge out of the game and won a team-high 30 possessions himself, while Tendai Mzungu (24 and two goals) showed plenty of dash.
Hawthorn key forward Jarryd Roughead made his return from a ruptured Achilles tendon, and was untroubled, entering the match after half-time and winning 12 possessions in a new backline role.
The 25-year-old attacked a number of aerial contests at full tilt and made some penetrating runs off half-back, appearing untroubled by the serious injury he suffered in round 12 last season.
With ruckman Max Bailey sidelined with a wrist injury, there was also interest in replacement big man Broc McCauley, who was subdued in the ruck opposed to Fremantle’s Zac Clarke.
David Hale, however, split his time forward and in the ruck and was solid for the visitors, kicking three first-half goals and finishing with 20 hit-outs.
The Hawks dominated the midfield battles early, with Mitchell winning 21 possessions in the first half and combining with Lewis and Sewell to give the visitors a 25-17 clearance advantage.