Rioli, Ellis re-sign with Hawks - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Rioli, Ellis re-sign with Hawks

By Guy Hand 13/07/2009 06:19:46 PM Comments (0)

Excitement machine Cyril Rioli has been rewarded for a stellar start to his AFL career with a three-year contract extension at reigning premiers Hawthorn.

Before tearing a hamstring last month, Rioli had played 36 consecutive matches for the Hawks, including a starring role in last year's premiership triumph.

Rioli, who turns 20 on Tuesday, is the nephew of former AFL greats Maurice Rioli and Michael Long.

The new deal keeps him at the club until at least the end of 2012.

Rioli was taken by the Hawks with pick 12 in the 2007 national draft.

Another former first-round draft pick and member of the 2008 flag-winning team, utility Xavier Ellis, agreed to a new two-year deal on Monday.

"It's sometimes hard to believe that these young men are still only in their second (Rioli) and fourth (Ellis) year of football," said Hawthorn football operations general manager Mark Evans.

"Rioli is an exciting player to watch and his work ethic is outstanding.

"His tackling has become a real feature of his game and he has continued his impressive form in his second season.

"Xavier has shown great application and versatility in his football this season playing defensive, through the midfield and forward at times."

After overcoming the hamstring injury, Rioli returned to the Hawks lineup for Sunday's nine-point win over North Melbourne.

But midfielder Brad Sewell wasn't even sure the Hawks could claim that victory - sparked by some freakish Lance Franklin heroics - was enough to breathe new life into their stuttering premiership defence.

"I'm not sure about turning a season around, but we haven't had a win like that in quite some time," Sewell said on Monday.

"There's certainly an element of relief. It was that type of game. To have fought so hard and then to let it slip, it wouldn't have been a great feeling at all.

"To have crawled over the line in a sense, and particularly in those conditions, it allows you to enjoy a win like that a little bit more."

Sewell was among the stars of the gutsy come-from-behind win in stormy, wet conditions in Launceston, teaming up in the midfield with Luke Hodge and Sam Mitchell to turn the match the Hawks' way.

Sewell said Mitchell appeared to have suffered no ill effects from a shoulder injury he sustained during the match.

Hawthorn's next test is attempting to stop Collingwood's bid for an eighth successive win.

The Magpies are coming off a thrilling one-point victory over fellow top four aspirants the Western Bulldogs, setting the stage for an enthralling clash against the Hawks at the MCG on Saturday night.

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2021 AAP

0 Comments about this article

Post a comment about this article

Please sign in to leave a comment.
Becoming a member is free and easy, sign up here.

« All sports news