Hawks try to regroup before Dogs clash - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Hawks try to regroup before Dogs clash

06/04/2010 08:42:00 PM Comments (0)

Hawthorn will have a light training week as they try to regroup ahead of another big AFL test on Sunday against the Western Bulldogs.

The Hawks were overhauled late in the Easter Monday classic against Geelong and only have six days to recover from that ferocious clash before taking on the fast, skilful Bulldogs.

"It was such a bruising game yesterday that we'll take it pretty easy early in the week ... it will be a pretty light week, I think," said Hawks midfielder Chance Bateman.

While Rhan Hooper (hamstring) will be missing and Jordan Lewis (ankle) is in doubt, Bateman, Lance Franklin and Cyril Rioli all made successful returns to the senior side.

It was the trio's first AFL match of the year, with Franklin and Bateman back from suspension and Rioli returning from injury.

"I'm probably a bit (more sore) than normal because it was my first hit-out for the year, but coming up against Geelong, we expect that," Bateman said.

"They're a great side and they have a lot of big, strong bodies, it's always a fierce contest between the two sides.

"It's always a really bruising encounter.

"For myself, `Buddy' (Franklin) and `Junior' (Rioli), it was good to get back into a game like that, because you have to pick up the pace straight away."

There was plenty to like about the Hawks on Monday, but their lack of ruck depth was an obvious problem.

Brent Renouf had to carry the load and the Cats made a point of trying to work him as hard as possible.

It is a problem the Hawks will have to manage for the time being.

"The position we're in with our ruck stocks, it's just something we have to do and something we've worked on a bit," Bateman said.

"That's just going to be a part of our game until we get back another ruckman.

Of their other ruckmen, Simon Taylor is recovering from a broken leg and Wayde Skipper has a hamstring injury, while Max Bailey is making strong progress as he comes back from a knee reconstruction.

Like Taylor, Bailey is not expected back for several weeks.

"He's going really well, he's an absolute professional and he's been doing all his rehab, he looks quite strong and he's moving quite well," Bateman said of Bailey.

The Cats sealed the win late in the final term when Shannon Byrnes caught Bateman in a great tackle and then goalled from the free kick.

"I didn't see him at all - it was great forward pressure by them, that's something we pride ourselves on as well and we got a couple of those tackles earlier in the game," Bateman said.

"Well done to Shannon, he blindsided me and pretty much sealed the game."

While the Hawks were disappointed they could not hold off the Cats, Bateman said it was an encouraging performance overall.

"(Coach Alastair Clarkson) summed it up yesterday when he said we were in front of the reigning premiers for 95 per cent of the game, that was pleasing.

"We would have liked to get the win, but our intent, our pressure, the intensity that we played at for the majority of the game was a really pleasing aspect."

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