Sewell smothers Johnstone in Hawks win - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Sewell smothers Johnstone in Hawks win

By Roger Vaughan 09/04/2007 08:12:46 PM Comments (0)

Brad Sewell would love to maintain his low AFL profile, but that becomes impossible when he restricts an elite midfielder to just eight touches.

Sewell's game on Melbourne onballer Travis Johnstone was outstanding as the Hawks won by 22 points at the MCG.

Down in form last week against Brisbane, he took Johnstone apart with a disciplined performance.

Sewell also made a crucial tackle on Johnstone during the last term as the Demons made their late charge.

His game could prove another major step forward in his AFL career.

The former rookie-list player played in all Hawthorn's games last season and finished third in the club best-and-fairest voting.

While the 23-year-old has had similar roles in the past, they have usually been in defence - this was an elite run-with performance through the midfield.

"Sewell did a magnificent job on Johnstone," said coach Alastair Clarkson.

"It says a little bit about the character of the bloke that he's played a couple of games below the standard that he'd like to play.

"He didn't want to allow Johnstone to get free."

The Sewell-Johnstone duel was one of several matchups that worked for Hawthorn.

Rick Ladson also continued Aaron Davey's horror start to the season and Campbell Brown blunted Russell Robertson's influence.

Sewell knew late last week that he would play on Johnstone.

"We identified early in the week that he's one of their key playmakers and to hold his influence was a huge win for the side," Sewell said.

"I was just making sure I was with him all day, making sure he had no influence on the game."

Sewell joked after his post-match interview that the media would do well to find a headline in his quotes.

But he admitted to great satisfaction about Monday's win, especially after Hawthorn started the season last weekend with a shocker against Brisbane.

"It was a long week - we had nine days between games, plenty of time to think about it," he said.

"We knew what we put up last week wasn't acceptable and wasn't anywhere near our best football.

"We showed glimpses out there today that we can move the ball well and really play some attacking footy."

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