Hawks not too Buddy conscious: Mitchell - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Hawks not too Buddy conscious: Mitchell

By Adam Cooper 18/08/2008 06:48:49 PM Comments (0)

Expect Hawthorn and Carlton to this weekend consider bypassing their main avenues to goal more despite boasting full-forwards closing in on centuries this AFL season.

A day after Carlton coach Brett Ratten conceded the Blues had to improve at using other scoring targets besides Brendan Fevola, Hawthorn captain Sam Mitchell admitted his side was too "Buddy conscious" of getting the ball to Lance Franklin.

The Hawk midfielders passed 17 times to Franklin in Sunday's game against Richmond, and that over-reliance, combined with his inaccurate 3.6 and the Tigers' zone defence and counter-attack, left Hawthorn lamenting a 29-point loss.

Hawthorn's preference to kick to Franklin was compounded by their virtual ignoring of Jarryd Roughead, whom they passed to once, and Mark Williams (six times).

"We try to have a bit more of an even balance, and normally we do, so hopefully we can keep that a little bit more even," Mitchell said.

"We probably don't use Mark Williams anywhere near enough as well.

"That's not a stat we'd like to see repeated.

"We're not going to win enough games of footy with stats like 17 and one."

Franklin has booted 94 goals for the season and Fevola 90, and both have contributed more than 30 per cent of their side's goals this campaign.

But Ratten said after Sunday's loss to North Melbourne - despite six Fevola majors - that Carlton could not afford to continue passing almost exclusively to their full-forward.

He said the Blues would consider sending Fevola further up the ground in the coming games against the Brisbane Lions and Hawks in a bid to direct some attention to other forwards.

Mitchell denied Hawthorn were focused on helping Franklin reach three figures quickly, and instead had to use Roughead (59 goals), Williams (32) and Cyril Rioli (19) more to ensure they were not too reliant on their spearhead.

"We're a team-orientated team and he's (Franklin) doing the right thing," he said.

"It's not his fault we're kicking it to him so much, it's our fault for making the wrong decisions going inside 50.

"Maybe we play him up the ground a little bit to try to take him out of that zone, to make us a little bit less Buddy conscious.

"It's something that we'll look to rectify this week."

Hawthorn's loss was their third from their past five games and continued the lulls of the two sides destined to finish either second and third, as the Western Bulldogs have also dropped four of their past five.

Mitchell said the Hawks had experienced a flat patch two thirds of the way through the season, but had no excuses for the loss to Richmond.

"We had our best side out there, and we just weren't good enough to get the points," he said.

"So we're going to have to improve our form and individually we're going to have to get better if we're going to go all right in the finals."

Hawthorn play West Coast at Subiaco Oval on Sunday.

Mitchell admitted he needed to improve this weekend, as he rated his field kicking on Sunday the worst of his 128-game career.

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