Longmire rates Hawks, even without Buddy - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Longmire rates Hawks, even without Buddy

By Adrian Warren 14/09/2011 06:59:16 PM Comments (0)

Sydney coach John Longmire has stressed Hawthorn still have the talent to kick a big score against the Swans in Friday's AFL semi-final, even if Hawks' spearhead Lance Franklin misses the MCG encounter.

Franklin, the competition's leading goalkicker this season, is in doubt for the game following a knee injury he suffered in last weekend's loss to Geelong.

Longmire pointed out Hawthorn had won all three games they played without Franklin this year, scoring freely against Fremantle, Essendon and Gold Coast in their spearhead's absence.

"We prepare for scenarios involving Buddy and not involving Buddy," Longmire told reporters at the SCG before training on Wednesday.

"Obviously he's been a big part of their forward set-up for the entire year, but even when he's been out of the team, they've been averaging over 18 goals a game in the three games that they've won with him out.

"(Cameron) Bruce has kicked goals for them as well in their forward line, (David) Hale has kicked goals, for them as well, so you've still got plenty of players, whether Buddy plays or not, that are able to kick goals."

Longmire anticipated two of his team's rising stars Dan Hannebery and Gary Rohan would come through Wednesday's training and prove their fitness after getting injured against St Kilda last weekend.

Hannebery dislocated a shoulder while Rohan hurt a knee.

Asked if Rohan and Hannebery needed to be 100 per cent right to play, Longmire said "They need to be pretty good.

"You are going into a final, you want to make sure you are taking fit players into a final."

Longmire wasn't fretting over Sydney's poor recent record at the MCG, where they have only one of their last 13 fixtures.

"I think just being confident of what we've been doing over the last month hopefully stands up anywhere, that's what we've got to try and do again," said Longmire referring to Sydney's four-match winning streak.

He said winning at the MCG had more to do with playing their own style rather than making any tactical adjustments or worrying about their record at the ground.

"I think if you get caught too much up into that, you start looking for things that are maybe not there," Longmire said.

"We know what we need to do regardless of the ground whether it's over in Perth, or it's in Geelong, or it's Etihad or it's the MCG.

"We need to make sure we bring our trademark footy and that's what we'll be concentrating on."

Longmire didn't expect his players to get too caught up in any hoopla over the 300th AFL appearance of inspirational co-captain Adam Goodes.

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