Hawks' Taylor gets share of hard ruck - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Hawks' Taylor gets share of hard ruck

By Adam Cooper and Sam Lienert 26/09/2008 05:30:27 PM Comments (0)

Overlooked Hawthorn ruckman Simon Taylor will use Geelong rival Mark Blake as inspiration for bouncing back from the pain of missing out on an AFL grand final.

Taylor was one of the hard-luck tales of this year's season decider, as he will be a spectator on Saturday at the MCG.

Taylor played 18 games this season, but was on Friday ruing being rested in round 22 to overcome soreness, which paved the way for Brent Renouf to take his spot and keep it throughout the finals.

"If I knew it had of worked out like this I might not have done the same thing, but we'll see," Taylor said on Friday.

"It was a no-brainer at the time, so I've got no regrets."

Taylor only had to look further afield in the grand final parade to see Blake, who was dropped before the 2007 grand final but returned bigger and better this year.

"You've only got to look at Mark Blake from last year and he's playing in a grand final this year," he said.

"We're confident in our ability and we really want to make the most of this window we've got.

"I'll refresh over the break and come back bigger and stronger with a bit of fire in the belly."

Hawthorn's preference for Renouf to partner Robert Campbell gives the 20-year-old from Queensland the chance to play in a premiership side in just his eighth game.

"I haven't played too many games, but hopefully experience doesn't mean too much out there on the day," Renouf said.

"If we just play our roles as a whole and each person does their bit we'll be right and put a lot of pressure on them and we'll go a long way."

Renouf made his debut in round 12, when Taylor was sidelined with a gashed leg, and proved he was ready for senior football through some strong showings in the VFL.

"There's a couple of guys always telling me to just hang in there around the club and just keep performing at Box Hill," he said.

"That's obviously what I did, I just knuckled down and kept the body right and that's gone a long way to me playing."

Hawthorn coach Alastair Clarkson would not specify why Renouf was preferred over Taylor, but said there were other Hawks who were doing it tough this week.

"The real heartbreak stories are Joel Smith, Richie Vandenberg and Ben Dixon, guys who retired last year right on the edge - hopefully - of a successful period at our club," Clarkson said.

"There's plenty of heartbreak in footy and there's been lots of guys who have played the bulk of their career and haven't had the opportunity to play in a grand final, let alone a winning one.

"We keep things in perspective as much as we possibly can, so a lot of those guys who have missed out this year, we're hopeful they'll be great contributors for our club and they'll get another chance at some point in time."

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