Sewell says Hawks to rally in AFL final - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Sewell says Hawks to rally in AFL final

Roger Vaughan 14/09/2011 02:22:01 PM Comments (0)

Hawthorn are viewing their 31-point AFL qualifying final loss to Geelong as an abysmal aberration, a one-off embarrassment they can fix in seven days.

The final margin last Friday night at the MCG flattered the Hawks, who were outplayed.

It was a most "un-Hawthorn like" game from a side that has overcome a series of challenges since their 2008 premiership and return this season to the top four.

Hawks midfielder Brad Sewell is confident they can regain form for this Friday night's sudden death semi-final against in-form Sydney at the MCG.

"We were probably fortunate to be in the game as long as we were, considering the way we were playing," Sewell said.

"For us, it's a huge positive - a bonus I guess - that we can take out of the game into Friday night's game against the Swans in that we weren't playing that well, but we were still in the game.

"If we turn around a couple of small elements, our performance will be a lot better."

Hawthorn were found wanting particularly in the midfield, where Sewell and his fellow onballers struggled noticeably at the stoppages.

Now they come up against a team that has become an AFL byword for hard, in-tight contested play.

"They are almost the benchmark in that respect of the game and that was the area of the game where they beat Geelong (in Geelong, round 22)," Sewell said.

"There's no better way for us to respond than to play a side that is the benchmark in that contested ball, if you like."

Sewell said the Hawks would have the same preparation this week as they did for the Geelong game, given they are two Friday night matches.

He stressed there will be no need to reinvent the wheel, just knuckle down and return to what has worked so well for them for much of this season.

"Elements of the game on Friday night were so far from what's been consistent for us throughout the year," Sewell said.

"So it's not a huge issue, it's not a massive drama - it's just 'boys, we're better than this, we don't play football like this, full stop'.

"It's not a huge change, it's not as though we're trying to recreate things.

"We didn't do this, this and this well, we know how we need to go about it, let's just get back on track."

But one unique feature of the planning for this Friday night will be how they tackle Adam Goodes.

The Swans star will play his 300th game against the Hawks, who by contrast will be without their No.1 player Lance Franklin as he recovers from a knee injury.

"There's no doubt he's been their in-form player and probably their barometer as well," Sewell said.

"It seems to be that when he's up and going, Sydney are playing well.

"He's been the form player of the competition, I think ... he's moving as well as he ever has."

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