Hawks to share load in taming Fevola - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Hawks to share load in taming Fevola

By Melissa Woods 01/05/2009 02:52:54 PM Comments (0)

As much by necessity as design, the Hawthorn defence will share the load as they attempt to limit the influence of Carlton spearhead Brendan Fevola at the MCG on Saturday.

But Hawks coach Alastair Clarkson believes shutting down Fevola isn't necessarily the key to beating Carlton this season, attributing the Blues' success to multiple goalkicking options.

Carlton goalsneak Eddie Betts shares the lead in the Coleman Medal race on 16 goals with Hawks pair Lance Franklin and Jarryd Roughead, one clear of Fevola and Brisbane skipper Jonathan Brown.

The next best Blues are Ryan Houlihan (six) and Cameron Cloke (five).

"They've got multiple options and that's probably been a strength of Carlton's this year so far, that they've been less inclined to kick it to Fevola as much as what they were in previous seasons," Clarkson said on Friday.

"They had a multitude of goal kickers last week and that's made them more difficult to combat up forward."

With fullback Stephen Gilham unable to return this week due to a knee problem, and Trent Croad (foot) yet to play this season, the Hawks have no obvious match-up for Fevola.

Clarkson said Thomas Murphy, Robert Campbell, Luke Hodge and Beau Dowler were likely to share the duties.

"It'll all depend on where he plays," said Clarkson.

"At different stages last week (against the Western Bulldogs) he was higher up the ground so we'll have a combination of players depending on what position he plays."

Captain Sam Mitchell impressed in a new role at halfback in their win over West Coast and Clarkson said he could appear there again.

"With so many of our roaming defenders out of the side he played a crucial role for us in the back half, and really helped with our rebound," said Clarkson.

"We'll just play that as we see it throughout the course of the game.

"We know that he can play that role particularly well for us but he's also a very, very handy midfielder where he's spent the bulk of his career."

The Hawks welcome back defender Brent Guerra after a week sidelined with a hamstring injury, and forward Michael Osborne, who will be eased through the match which is his first since round one.

"We think we can play him in a role over the next two or three weeks where we can ease him in," said Clarkson.

"We wouldn't expect he'll be best on ground at the weekend but as long as he makes a contribution to the side that's all we're after."

The defending champions bounced back from a disappointing loss to Port Adelaide with a 18-point win over the Eagles and now sit ninth on the ladder.

They have an impressive record against the Blues (currently third), winning each match since 2005.

"We prefer to look at more current form than previous outings.

"Certainly from that point of view they've been in pretty formidable form and we need to play our very best on the weekend to get the points," Clarkson said.

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