Hawks must reassess forward tactics - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Hawks must reassess forward tactics

Roger Vaughan 17/06/2011 07:26:30 PM Comments (0)

Jarryd Roughead's season-ending injury means plenty of extra work for Hawthorn assistant coach Leon Cameron.

Hawthorn's AFL match against Gold Coast in Launceston this Saturday will be the first test for how their attack can function without Roughead in the side.

As the Hawks' forward coach, Cameron now must re-jig their avenues to goal.

The Hawks suffered a major blow last weekend when Roughead suffered an achilles tendon injury.

For several seasons, he has been their No.2 key forward behind Lance Franklin and a crucial part of their team structure.

Ruck-forward David Hale will come into the team to replace Roughead, but it is as much a question of tactics as it will be personnel.

Coach Alastair Clarkson knows that the Suns defence will now put extra work into Franklin and the Hawks must find a way around such challenges.

"He (Franklin) is a key focal point for us, particularly with `Roughy' out, they'd be looking maybe to double-team him," Clarkson said.

"We'll wait and see how the game unfolds, but we just feel we have more potency with our forward structure this year.

"Leon Cameron has come into that role for us as an assistant coach and he's added a little bit of a different mix.

"Hopefully we can find other avenues to goal, rather than just Lance Franklin."

There was an unpleasant postscript for Franklin and Hawthorn after their round-four match against West Coast in Launceston when it emerged a fan had yelled racist abuse at him.

Clarkson was not keen to buy into the issue again, other than to stress that such behaviour was simply wrong.

"You have 20,000 who regularly come to this stadium, it only takes one peanut to ruin it for a fair few," he said.

"They are very infrequent, those types of things.

"There's been plenty of publicity and plenty of talk about it being pretty untoward, not necessary and certainly not warranted in our game and in our society.

"I reckon it's best left at that."

The Hawks and Suns have had an unusual buildup to the game, flying to Launceston a day early because of the volcanic ash issue.

The flight carrying the Gold Coast team was also diverted to Hobart because of a mechanical issue, meaning they had a two-hour bus ride on Thursday night before they finally reached Launceston.

But Clarkson has no doubt Gold Coast will take it up to his team on Saturday.

While the fourth-placed Hawks will start strong favourites against Gold Coast, who are bottom, Clarkson said the two teams had the same issue.

"They can really put it together for patches in a game and I'm sure what `Bluey' (coach Guy McKenna) would be saying to them is if they can do it for the full four quarters," Clarkson said.

"That's what we have to challenge ourselves to do too, we haven't played four really good, solid quarters for a long period of time.

"That's going to be a key focus for us."

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