AFL Live Hawthorn Hawks vs Western Bulldogs Stream AFL 2016 Seasons Semi Final match will be kick off at Melbourne Cricket Ground Stadium, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, Friday 16 September 2016 online, 19.50 pm (AEDT) and its broadcast on Channel Seven, Foxtell.
Hawthorn have the wobbles up, having lost three of their last five, and with one of their wins coming by one point against lowly Collingwood in Round 23. Prior to that, they had lost by 25 points to West Coast, defeated North by 39, and lost to Melbourne by 29. Their best performance in this run was last week against Geelong when they had the game on Isaac Smith’s boot, but he couldn’t deliver victory.
The Western Bulldogs had been solid but not spectacular leading into finals, winning three out of four games, but with the most prestigious win coming against an ailing North, and the loss being to 16th placed Fremantle. Coming into finals, the Dogs hadn’t beaten a team in the top seven since Round 15, but they found several gears to trounce West Coast in Perth in their elimination final.
These two are among the shortest players in the finals series, but also among the toughest, and while they are at either end of the experience spectrum, both are renowned for their clean hands and superior decision-making. If Sam Mitchell is causing too much havoc with his creativity, expect Daniel to put the clamps on him, as he did in their Round 3 meeting this year.
Stringer was put back to the VFL after struggling for form in the second half of the season, but was brought back in for the Dogs’ elimination final where he had some down moments again, but also played an important hand at key stages. The Hawks can’t afford to let him gain any confidence given his match-winning capabilities, and versatile Stratton will be the man for the job.DT Talk Player Prop Bets
Hawthorn have won eight in a row against the Western Bulldogs, including in Round 3 this season when they won by three points. Two of those wins were at the MCG, with the last being in 2011.
The Bulldogs attacked last weeks elimination final in a frenzy of pressure and desperation, but importantly backed it up with sure ball handling and high skill under pressure. They appear to have regrouped in the break and set themselves for a long campaign, not just one or two weeks. It’s never that easy, of course, and here they run into a three time defending champions Hawthorn.
The Hawks have a renowned weakness in the contested possession area, which has gotten worse the longer the season has gone. This is made up for with the superior ball movement, but even it has been less effective this season.
The Dogs are one of the best contested possession teams in the competition, so they will be strong where the Hawks are weak. But the Dogs also have a good outside game, where they like to control games through their ball movement similar to the Hawks. This should dull whatever advantage the Hawks have on the outside, and we saw the Dogs dominate both categories when the sides met earlier in the year.
Hawthorn has played much more football than the Dogs at the MCG, particularly in finals, so this will be an advantage. The Hawks also have more obvious pathways to goal, so the Dogs are once again going to have to be at their defensive best, as they were against West Coast’s multi-faceted forward-line last week.
The game should be a terrific one, to continue the run of great finals started last week, but it might just be time for the mighty to fall.
B: T.Duryea, J.Frawley, S.Burgoyne
HB: L.Hodge, J.Gibson, G.Birchall
C: I.Smith, S.Mitchell, B.Hill
HF: L.Breust, J.Gunston, C.Rioli
F: P.Puopolo, J.Fitzpatrick, R.Schoenmakers
R: B.McEvoy, J.Lewis, L.Shiels
I/C: B.Stratton, B.Whitecross, J.Sicily, B.Hartung
EMG: W.Langford, D.Howe, M.Spangher
IN: B.Hartung, J.Sicily
OUT: R.Burton (calf), D.Howe
B: J.Johannisen, J.Hamling, M.Boyd
HB: M.Suckling, D.Morris, E.Wood
C: L.Hunter, M.Bontempelli, L.Picken
HF: J.Macrae, Z.Cordy, J.Stringer
F: T.Dickson, T.Boyd, C.Daniel
R: J.Roughead, L.Dahlhaus, T.Liberatore
I/C: C.Smith, T.McLean, J.Dunkley, S.Biggs
EMG: T.Campbell, L.Webb, R.Smith
OUT: L.Jong (shoulder)