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12:08pm  Dec 13, 2017

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3:40pm  Dec 7, 2017

AFL Preview: Crows v Hawks

Lee Gaskin, AFL Media  June 19, 2017 12:08 PM

The Crows and Hawks face off at Adelaide Oval on Thursday night

The Crows and Hawks face off at Adelaide Oval on Thursday night

SUMMARY
Both clubs will be refreshed heading into the final Thursday night game of the season. The bye was the perfect opportunity for the ladder-leading Crows (9-3) to reset after their 57-point thumping of St Kilda in Round 12. Defenders Rory Laird and Jake Lever provided plenty of rebound out of the backline, while ruckman Sam Jacobs turned in another superb performance to press his Virgin Australia AFL All Australian credentials. The Hawks (4-8) are coming off a round 12 loss to Gold Coast and are entering a tough part of their schedule where they face the top three sides (Crows, Greater Western Sydney and Geelong) in the next month. Unless they conjure a miracle turnaround, the Hawks will miss the finals for the first time since 2009. On current form, and with their mounting injury list, it's hard to see the Hawks providing much of a challenge for one of the premiership favourites.

WHERE AND WHEN: Adelaide Oval, Thursday, June 22, 7.20pm ACST
TV AND RADIO: Click here for the AFL's broadcast guide

LAST FIVE TIMES
R2, 2017, Adelaide 16.17 (113) d Hawthorn 13.11 (89) at the MCG
R5, 2016, Hawthorn 17.10 (112) d Adelaide 17.7 (109) at the MCG
2SF, 2015, Hawthorn 21.9 (135) d Adelaide 8.13 (61) at the MCG
R12, 2015, Hawthorn 17.12 (114) d Adelaide 12.13 (85) at Adelaide Oval
R17, 2014, Hawthorn 15.14 (104) d Adelaide 14.8 (92) at Adelaide Oval 

THE SIX POINTS
1.
In Round Two, the Hawks led by 13 points at half-time before the Crows booted 11 goals to five in the second half. The Crows laid more tackles, won the inside 50s and the clearances. Eddie Betts and David Mackay kicked three goals each

2. This will be a contest between the highest scoring side this year and one of the lowest. Adelaide is first with 118 points per game, compared to the 15th-ranked Hawks, with just 78.

3. Adelaide’s win in Round Two was their first over Hawthorn since Round One, 2011 at AAMI Stadium. The Hawks won the previous seven games.

4. No team has marked the ball inside 50 this season more than the Crows, averaging 15.3 per game, which is a long way ahead of the Hawks, ranked 17th with an average of only 8.9.

5. In Hawthorn’s favour is their undefeated record against Adelaide at Adelaide Oval, winning twice. This season, the Crows have won six of their seven Adelaide Oval games with five by more than 50 points.

6. Emerging Crows defender Jake Lever has risen 60 places in the Schick AFL Player Ratings this season. Despite missing three games through injury, Lever has improved from 198th overall to 138th. He is also fifth at the Crows in average player ratings points per game this season, with 13.1.

IT'S A BIG WEEK FOR … Rory Sloane
The reigning Crows club champion needs to show he can still impact the game despite being tagged. He's struggled in recent weeks when physical pressure is applied, with opposition teams successfully keeping the Crows' most influential player out of games. Sloane's teammates also need to do a better job of providing blocks and helping him out at stoppages.

AFL MEDIA PREDICTION: Adelaide by 38 points