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Preview: Adelaide v Hawthorn

Ashley Browne, AFL Media  June 12, 2018 1:27 PM

ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 22: Matt Crouch and Richard Douglas of the Crows clash with Tom Mitchell and Luke Breust of the Hawks during the 2017 AFL round 14 match between the Adelaide Crows and the Hawthorn Hawks at the Adelaide Oval on June 22, 2017 in Adelaide, Australia. (Photo by AFL Media)

ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 22: Matt Crouch and Richard Douglas of the Crows clash with Tom Mitchell and Luke Breust of the Hawks during the 2017 AFL round 14 match between the Adelaide Crows and the Hawthorn Hawks at the Adelaide Oval on June 22, 2017 in Adelaide, Australia. (Photo by AFL Media)

SUMMARY
A bit of unwanted history facing the Crows this weekend. Lose to the Hawks and it will be the first time since rounds 11-14 of 2011 they will have lost four games in a row. They’ve been consistent and often very good for a considerable period of time and it is hard to believe the team that started favourite to win last year’s Grand Final could be toast for 2018 with another loss here. The Hawks are starting to find some form again and if they win, and given their favourable draw to come, it puts them firmly in the frame to play finals. It is Shaun Burgoyne’s 350th game and anything less than a stirring performance from the Hawks would be unforgivable. This will be an elimination final in June, so strap yourself in for a big night.

WHERE AND WHEN: Melbourne Cricket Ground, Saturday, June 16, 7.25pm AEST 

LAST FIVE MEETINGS
R14, 2017, Hawthorn 14.12 (96) d Adelaide Crows 12.10 (82) at Adelaide Oval
R2, 2017, Adelaide Crows 16.17 (113) d Hawthorn 13.11 (89) at the MCG
R5, 2016, Hawthorn 17.10 (112) d Adelaide Crows 17.7 (109) at the MCG
2SF, 2015, Hawthorn 21.9 (135) d Adelaide Crows 8.13 (61) at the MCG
R12, 2015, Hawthorn 17.12 (114) d Adelaide Crows 12.13 (85) at Adelaide Oval

THE SIX POINTS
1. Hawthorn came from behind when the sides last played; the Crows led by 18 points at half-time before the Hawks kicked eight goals to three in the second half. Ricky Henderson was best on ground against his former club with 30 disposals and two goals.

2. The Crows’ scoring continues to drop away – in rounds one to seven they averaged 98 points per game; since round eight that has dropped to 71. Adelaide hasn't reached 100 points in a game since round seven.

3. Hawthorn has dominated Adelaide recently, winning eight of the past nine matches thanks to seven consecutive wins in 2012-16. There have been some close finishes with five wins by less than three goals.

4. The Hawks are a mark and kick team, ranked fifth for marks per game with an average of 7 and they’re also fifth for kicks with an average of 220. In contrast, they are 15thfor handballs.

5. The teams have played at the MCG 10 times with Hawthorn winning six games to four; this will be the Crows’ first visit to the MCG since the 2017 Grand Final.

6. Adelaide midfielder Matt Crouch is listed at No.39 in the Schick AFL Player Rankings.

IT’S A BIG WEEK FOR …  
Hawthorn small forward Luke Breust was tracking towards All Australian selection, averaging almost 18 touches and three goals a game over the first eight rounds. He’s averaged 12 touches and managed just one goal over the past three games, so he needs to lift.

PREDICTION: Hawthorn by 10 points