Hawks are primed for a revival: Harvey - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Hawks are primed for a revival: Harvey

By Chris Pike 14/05/2009 06:19:20 PM Comments (0)

Fremantle coach Mark Harvey says his team will try to take advantage of a Hawthorn without Luke Hodge, but sees danger signs the Hawks are readying to take a stand to revive their AFL premiership defence.

Fremantle have won their last three matches over Sydney, West Coast and Carlton after a 0-4 start, and all the pressure is on Hawthorn who are out of the top eight and come to Perth without Hodge and with Chance Bateman in doubt.

The clash is massive for both teams with the Dockers hoping to show they are a finals threat, while a Hawks loss would leave their premiership defence in tatters.

With captain Sam Mitchell calling Hawthorn's start to the season "diabolical", Harvey believes the premiers are ready to take a stand against his young Dockers.

"I can see the danger signs with their inner sanctum subtly talking about things in the media that shows that this game is a big pointer towards what they do this year," Harvey said.

"This game will have it all, particularly early.

"They have 14 premiership players that are about to play and that counts for an enormous amount when it was so recent.

"We have a terribly young group that are coming back from a long trip who have to try and challenge last year's premiers."

While the loss of Hodge and the continued absence of Trent Croad among others leaves Hawthorn vulnerable down back, Harvey isn't taking it as a given that his team can simply turn up and take advantage.

"He's (Hodge) their director and co-ordinator, but on top of that a great player," Harbey said.

"It gives us an advantage to look for an opportunity to exploit the position Luke normally plays.

"That will rely on the quality from up the field. If we can break down their zones and at times move the ball quickly to get one-on-one situations, it will give us a good look.

"What we make of that look will be important."

Despite the 3-4 start for the defending premiers, coach Alastair Clarkson isn't panicking and the team has addressed plenty following a dismal loss to Essendon.

Clarkson knows Fremantle will be hard to counter, but expects his team to respond in style.

"We lost the game by seven goals and were disappointed with our performance right across the board - from the way we played, coached and prepared," he said of the loss to the Bombers.

"We need to address a few things and hopefully come out a little bit better against Fremantle.

"They're going to be a really competitive unit - despite a lot of doomsayers with Fremantle, particularly early in the season, they've still got a very good, strong core of players who were a big part of their finals campaigns three or four years ago.

"I'm pretty impressed with the way they've gone about it in more recent times ... we're going to have to play much, much better than we did last week to be competitive."

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