Hawks win thriller over Magpies - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Hawks win thriller over Magpies

28/08/2010 07:30:50 PM Comments (0)

Every top-four side's nightmare is now a reality - Hawthorn have momentum heading into the AFL finals.

The Hawks proved they will be the X factor next month with a stirring three-point win over the minor premiers on Saturday at the MCG.

Hawthorn may not have gained a home elimination final with the 15.8 (98) to 13.17 (95) win, and the game was as much about Collingwood's ongoing inaccuracy, but it has given the victors a massive confidence boost.

"To get a win against them right on the eve of the finals is really good for us, but strangely enough, as exciting as the win is, it could be immaterial," said Hawks coach Alastair Clarkson..

"We might ... still finish in seventh position and have to travel next week.

"But what it does do for us is give us enormous belief that we can beat anyone in the competition if we play with that type of endeavour that we had today."

At least three times in the second half, Collingwood were one goal away from taking control of the match.

Lance Franklin kept the Hawks in the game with five goals after halftime for a season-best match haul of six, while star midfielder Cyril Rioli repeatedly intercepted the ball and drove the Hawks forward.

The 'Pies led by 19 points midway through the final term, but Hawthorn had a four-goal burst that put them ahead for the first time since early in the first quarter.

Collingwood closed out the match with three behinds, including Dayne Beam's bad miss from a free kick with about a minute left.

Clarkson heaped praise on Franklin, who has kicked 62 goals this season.

"He just kicked goals against the flow of play ... they were just really lifting goals for us," Clarkson said.

"When it looked like Collingwood had the momentum and had the run of play, Buddy would keep us in the contest."

Clarkson noted that Collingwood had belted them by 64 points in round four and this match showed Hawthorn how much they had improved.

But he stressed that the Magpies remained a very impressive side going into the finals.

Collingwood coach Mick Malthouse said that apart from the inaccuracy, his side often went for wrong options when heading into attack.

"We just clearly didn't go in there enough and didn't finish off well enough," he said.

"Our option taking at times was quite poor ... it's something we've been far better at, I don't think we were good at it today.

"Is it (the loss) ideal? I don't know; is it poor? no; is it panic stations? absolutely not.

"Do we change the side? Well, we'll see who's available."

One of the best aspects of the win was that Hawks star Luke Hodge did not play because of a knee injury and he should be back next week.

Collingwood also should regain Leigh Brown, Alan Didak, Simon Prestigiacomo and Ben Johnson - all in their best 22 - for the qualifying final against the Western Bulldogs.

Josh Fraser was recalled for his 200th game and Leon Davis also came into the side as a late inclusion.

The pair might struggle to hold their spots, even though Malthouse said they were far from Collingwood's worst players.

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