NAB Cup Round 2 Preview: Hawthorn vs GWS

Where:  Aurora Stadium, Launceston, Tasmania

When: Saturday March 3, 3:40pm (local time)

Coverage: TV, Fox Footy live from 3:30pm – Radio, SEN 1116 live from 3pm.

Forecast:

Min: 11

Max: 23

Rain developing. – Cloudy. Isolated showers developing during the morning, increasing to rain during the afternoon. Winds northeast to south-easterly averaging up to 20 km/h.

Saturday sees the young Giants make their first trip to the Apple Isle, in which they take on the might of premiership fancies Hawthorn. The Hawks will be resting four of their most influential players in Lance Franklin, Sam Mitchell, Brad Sewell and Jordan Lewis, with Cyril Rioli and Jarryd Roughead sidelined with injury.

For the Giants, this is another chance to get game time into their young brigade, with line-breaking wingman Will Hoskin-Elliot making his debut after being picked up at number four in the national draft. Pick 11 Toby Greene is another to watch closely, after having a stellar under-18’s championship in the midfield with Vic Metro last year.

What the Hawks want to see:

No Franklin or Roughead presents Hawthorn with the perfect opportunity to test their key forward depth. Jack Gunston and David Hale will undoubtedly spend the majority of the day as the key posts up forward, and should have a good opportunity to show Alistair Clarkson their worth against an inexperienced GWS defence. Don’t be surprised if regular defender Ryan Shoenmakers has a run up forward at some stage as well.

With a swag of youngsters getting a run on the weekend, Clarkson will no doubt be keen to instil the finer points of Hawthorn’s zoning and defensive press into their repertoire. He will be looking to the likes of Luke Hodge, Grant Birchall, Josh Gibson, Shaun Burgoyne, Chance Bateman and Michael Osborne to help in this department by educating the youngsters out on the field.

Thomas Schneider is one for Hawthorn fans to keep an eye on. An accumulative style midfielder, Schneider averaged 23.5 disposals for the Box Hill Hawks in the VFL last year. Whilst he has plenty of competition in the midfield at Hawthorn, look for him to push for senior selection in 2012.

What the Giants want to see:

The first thing Kevin Sheedy and his men will be looking for is more of the same enthusiasm they saw in week one against Collingwood and the Western Bulldogs.

With most pundits predicting two big losses for the evening, the Giants surprised with two close losses due to their work rate and endeavour.  The true test will come in the third and fourth quarters, particularly if the predicted wet weather results in a physical contest.

GWS will once again field a side close to full strength, with the exceptions of veterans Luke Power, Chad Cornes and Dean Brogan. Silky half-back Tomas Bugg will also be rested after a very promising performance in week one of the NAB Cup.

Last but not least GWS would love to see big Isreal Folau put in a good performance. Starved of any decent supply from his midfield two weeks ago, Falou didn’t see too much of the action in his first televised hit out.

If Folau can get on the end of a few good passages of play and convert, the marketing value and increased interest for the Western Sydney locals at such an important stage of the club’s development will not be lost on Sheedy.

Prediction:

With wet weather predicted, the physical disparity between the hardened Hawks and the young and underdeveloped Giants should be apparent from the start. Expect to see the Hawks on top throughout and run away with a big win. If the Giants can win a quarter and run out the game, they should take solace from that.

Hawthorn by 70 points.

Teams:

GWS
1. Phil Davis, 3. Stephen Coniglio, 4. Israel Folau, 7. Rhys Palmer, 9. Tom Scully, 13. Sam Darley, 15. Tim Golds, 16. Nathan Wilson, 18. Jeremy Cameron, 19. Nick Haynes, 20. Adam Tomlinson, 22. Shaun Edwards, 24. Steve Clifton, 25. Anthony Miles, 26. Jonathan Giles, 27. Andrew Phillips, 28. Liam Sumner. 29. Dom Tyson, 31. Jacob Townsend, 32. Gerald Ugle, 33. Will Hoskin-Elliott, 34. Devon Smith, 35. Toby Greene, 38. James McDonald, 39. Tim Mohr, 40. Adam Kennedy, 44. Tom Downie, 47. Josh Bruce, 48. Sam Frost

HAWTHORN
4. Matt Suckling, 6. Josh Gibson, 7. Michael Osborne, 8. Xavier Ellis, 9. Shaun Burgoyne, 10. Chance Bateman, 11. Clinton Young, 13. Kyle Cheney, 14. Grant Birchall, 15. Luke Hodge, 16. Isaac Smith, 17. Cameron Bruce, 18. Brent Guerra, 19. Jack Gunston, 20. David Hale, 21. Shane Savage, 22. Luke Breust, 25. Ryan Schoenmakers, 29. Tom Murphy, 31. Jarrad Boumann, 32. Bradley Hill, 35. Sam Grimley, 36. Alex Woodward, 37. Brendan Whitecross, 39. Max Bailey, 42. Angus Litherland, 43. Amos Frank, 45. Tom Schneider, 46. Derick Wanganeen


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