Hodge, Franklin help Hawks beat Magpies - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Hodge, Franklin help Hawks beat Magpies

By Sam Lienert 18/07/2009 11:25:09 PM Comments (0)

Hawthorn stars Luke Hodge and Lance Franklin have inspired their side to a 18.13 (121) to 11.10 (76) defeat of Collingwood to breathe new life into the Hawks' AFL premiership defence.

Hodge and Franklin were the last-quarter heroes in last round's comeback win over North Melbourne in Launceston, which kept the finals flame flickering.

They fanned it into a blaze at the MCG on Saturday night, Franklin scoring five goals and Hodge simply magnificent in the midfield, with 34 disposals, six tackles and three goals, to lead the way in the Hawks' best victory of what had been a stuttering season.

Their only previous win over a side currently in the top eight was when they scraped past Carlton in a nail-biter in round six.

But Saturday night's defeat of the Magpies was far more comprehensive, making light work of an 11-point half-time deficit with a third quarter of remarkable dominance, when they outscored Collingwood 7.3 to 0.2.

The win lifted them within percentage of the top eight and broke a seven-match winning streak for Collingwood, who could drop out of the top four.

It was the Hawks' fourth straight win over the Magpies, including thrashing them by 65 and 54 points in their two meetings last season.

Franklin kicked a total of 14 goals in those two games, and after finding form with his four last-term goals against the Kangaroos last round, tormented Collingwood from the start.

He kicked two goals in the first quarter, then the first of the second term to set up a two-goal lead.

The Magpies fought back with the last four goals of the first half to hit the front.

But Hawthorn were superb in the third quarter, with Hodge, Franklin and skipper Sam Mitchell lighting the fuse.

Mitchell, who played the first half in defence, lined up in attack after the long break and kicked the opening goal, his first of three for the night.

Hodge then fired home a 65m bomb to put his side in front.

Franklin followed up by intercepting a poor handball in defence from Collingwood's Alan Toovey, snapping his fourth to keep the charge going.

With their confidence flowing, the fired-up Hawks controlled the rest of the quarter.

The onslaught included a goal to Ben McGlynn, capping a fine match in which he blanketed Magpies star Alan Didak, who had five straight 30-plus disposal games before being kept to 17 against the Hawks.

With Hawthorn carrying a 32-point lead into the last term, Franklin and Hodge put the result beyond doubt with the goal of the night in the opening minute of the quarter.

They ran the ball from the wing with a chain of handballs, before Franklin finished it off with his fifth goal on the run.

Midfielder Scott Pendlebury was probably Collingwood's best, while Heath Shaw picked up many touches at half-back and Tarkyn Lockyer provided spark in attack.

Hawks coach Alastair Clarkson said it was as good a four-quarter effort as his side had put in this year.

"We fell away a little bit in the second quarter, but apart from that I thought our attack on the footy and the pressure that we applied to the Collingwood side was as good as we've seen from our guys this season."

Clarkson said the Hawks would be "around the mark with any side in the competition" if they could maintain that intensity, but could not get carried away ahead of playing beaten grand final opponents Geelong at the MCG next Saturday.

"They've been the most formidable side in the competition for the best part of three years and once again they and the Saints are benchmark sides, so we're going to be chasing them pretty hard."

Collingwood coach Mick Malthouse said the Magpies played like they were too content with what they had already achieved this year.

"They played like a side that was outside the eight wanting to get in, we played like a side that had won seven games (straight) and had too many blokes that were satisfied," he said.

"The boys know that, we've got no excuse other than the fact that we played Hawthorn, they are the reigning premiers and they played similar to what they did last year."

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