Cats, Hawks clash in MCG blockbuster - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Cats, Hawks clash in MCG blockbuster

Greg Buckle 05/06/2011 08:23:55 PM Comments (0)

Hawthorn's late surge to beat Fremantle sets up a huge clash with arch rivals Geelong next Saturday night at the MCG before an expected crowd of 80,000.

The Hawks scored their eighth victory from 10 matches and held on to third spot on the AFL ladder on Sunday with their 17.9 (111) to 13.11 (89) win over eighth-placed Fremantle.

The Dockers, battling a long injury list including All-Australian ruckman Aaron Sandilands, couldn't hold on despite leading by 26 points early in the final term at the MCG.

Hawthorn kicked the last eight goals of the match in a stunning burst.

But ominously for the Hawks, Geelong big man Brad Ottens is back in top form with a five-goal haul on Saturday against the Western Bulldogs at Skilled Stadium.

The unbeaten Cats won 23.10 (148) to 13.9 (87) with midfielder Jimmy Bartel in tremendous form.

"We need to play a lot better than we did today to be able to defeat them," Hawthorn coach Alastair Clarkson said on Sunday.

"I reckon there will be 80,000 next week.

"Despite Collingwood's dominance in the last 18 months, the Cats (premiers in 2007 and 2009) have been the best side over the last five years.

"We've had some great contests with them, but they've knocked us off the last five times since the 2008 grand final."

Hawthorn's chances of upsetting Geelong rested largely on a fitness test for star forward Lance Franklin who missed Sunday's game with a calf injury.

"We need to assess him early this week. We're uncertain whether it's a cork or a strain," Clarkson said.

The Cats came from eight points down at halftime to beat Hawthorn by 19 points in round five at the MCG on April 26 in the most recent meeting between the two sides.

Andrew Swallow had 39 touches against Adelaide at Etihad Stadium on Sunday to spark North Melbourne's third win of the season, 18.7 (115) to 10.8 (68).

Adelaide's seventh loss increases the pressure on out-of-contract coach Neil Craig.

Carlton held fourth spot with a 16.15 (111) to 7.7 (49) win over Port Adelaide on Sunday in a wet slog at AAMI Stadium. Andrew Walker kicked a career-best six goals for the Blues.

Second-placed Collingwood breezed to a 57-point win in their grand final re-match with St Kilda on Saturday night at the MCG.

The defending premiers triumphed 16.12 (108) to 7.9 (51), as Collingwood piled on 10 goals to two after halftime. Dane Swan kicked four goals for the Magpies.

A towering late mark from ruckman Nic Naitanui helped West Coast beat Gold Coast 13.7 (85) to 10.7 (67) on Saturday at Patersons Stadium. Naitanui's ruck partner Dean Cox had a big game with 28 hit-outs, 26 possessions and two goals.

Also on Saturday, dual Brownlow Medallist Adam Goodes played a starring role in Sydney's biggest victory of the season.

The Swans jumped one spot to fifth with their 17.14 (116) to 7.9 (51) win at the Gabba.

Stung by criticism for their poor display in round 10 against Carlton, Melbourne rebounded with an upset win over Essendon on Friday night at the MCG.

Skipper Brad Green kicked four goals in Melbourne's 15.11 (101) to 10.8 (68) victory.

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