Buddy back for Hawks - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Buddy back for Hawks

By Melissa Woods 19/07/2010 02:57:28 PM Comments (0)

Hawthorn are set to regain star forward Lance Franklin for their much-anticipated AFL clash with St Kilda on Friday night, and the mind games have already started.

Franklin, who missed his team's 75-point thrashing of Brisbane in Launceston on Saturday with a sprained ankle, is ready to play at Etihad Stadium against the Saints, who were last round shocked by Collingwood.

Ahead of the match former Hawk and now Saints defender Zac Dawson is already lining up Franklin, who he's likely to mark, through text messages.

"I think Zac's already been texting Buddy (Franklin) and letting him know he's waiting for him, so that'll be good," said Hawks forward Michael Osborne.

"Hopefully he can get back on top of Zac this weekend."

Osborne said the team was eager for the Coleman medallist Franklin to play, and not just for the obvious goal-kicking reasons.

"He doesn't go too well, emotionally, over the weekend when he's not playing," he said.

"He just mopes around a bit and let's the boys know, probably gets on their nerves a bit, because he doesn't have to concentrate on footy so much.

"He's already in here this morning and looking forward to the weekend."

The resurgent Hawks, who have won eight of their past nine matches, will pore over video footage of Collingwood's crushing 48-point win over St Kilda, which left the Saints in third spot.

St Kilda have an impressive record against Hawthorn, winning seven of the last nine clashes.

"They (Collingwood) obviously did something right so we'll have a look at what they did and whether we can do anything similar," Osborne said.

The 27-year-old predicted last year's grand finalists would be stinging from their loss, and dangerous.

"They're probably going to be very motivated this weekend, coming off that loss and we'll prepare for that," he said.

"They're a dangerous side either way, even when they are winning ... it's going to be a tough game for us.

"St Kilda have been really good over the past couple of years, probably one of the benchmark teams, and they'll be focusing on finals and performing well there."

Osborne praised the performance of recalled midfielder Brad Sewell, who had been dumped from the side before Franklin's training injury, and played against the Lions as a replacement.

"It was a great response by him," he said.

"It was a bit of kick in the backside and a wake-up call and he responded really well.

"It just shows the team we've got at the moment, no one's certain for a spot and the way he worked back into it was really good for him."

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