Woeful Hawks blow AFL double chance - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Woeful Hawks blow AFL double chance

By Roger Vaughan and James Dampney 02/09/2007 08:26:42 PM Comments (0)

After a month in the top four, Hawthorn blew the double chance for the finals with their worst loss of the AFL season.

The Hawks also have several fresh injury concerns ahead of next Saturday afternoon's Telstra Dome elimination final against Adelaide, who like Sydney will go into next weekend as September wildcards.

The Swans smashed Hawthorn by 72 points at the SCG, 22.9 (141) to 10.9 (69).

Hawks midfielder Chance Bateman suffered a hamstring injury and key defender Trent Croad was concussed after he backed into a marking contest.

Top onballer Sam Mitchell also gave Hawthorn a massive scare early in the match when he hurt his knee, although he was able to play out the game.

Hawthorn's loss and the Kangaroos' 23.19 (157) to 14.9 (93) win over the Western Bulldogs at Telstra Dome meant the Hawks dropped from fourth to fifth and the `Roos rose from fifth to fourth.

"It was a bit of a rude awakening for us," said Hawks coach Alastair Clarkson.

"We lost a couple of guys pretty early in the game that mucked up our structure a little bit, but Sydney are a first-class side.

"At the minute, we're getting what our list suggests - that sometimes our performance is really good and sometimes it's not.

"Sydney get themselves into those sorts of games, they very rarely get beaten and if they do it's by four goals maximum."

Adding to the gloomy outlook for Hawthorn ahead of next week, their previous worst loss this season was the 71-point belting from the Crows in round 14.

Port Adelaide and West Coast will open the major round with their AAMI Stadium qualifying final this Friday night.

Collingwood and Sydney play their elimination final on Saturday night at the MCG and minor premiers Geelong will take on the `Roos in the other qualifying final next Sunday, also at the MCG.

The fact that Hawthorn, the `Roos and Sydney all played impacted on the scheduling, because each team must have at least six days' break.

It was the best possible result for the Cats, after some concerns during the week that they might only have a six-day break despite finishing top.

Underlining the closeness of this season, which set an all-time AFL attendance record, seven of the weekend's game potentially impacted on the top eight.

Adelaide quickly ended several potential finals permutations when they sewed up eighth spot on Friday night, courtesy of their 14.10 (94) to 11.9 (75) win over Collingwood at Telstra Dome.

Port Adelaide held onto second spot after a scare from Fremantle.

The Dockers trailed by only four points at three-quarter time at AAMI Stadium, but the Power kicked away to win 17.15 (117) to 12.13 (85).

Essendon's Scott Lucas kicked seven goals in the last quarter at Subiaco Oval to give West Coast an even bigger fright.

While the Eagles won 21.6 (132) to 19.10 (124) in the last game for Bombers legends Kevin Sheedy and James Hird, the eight-point margin effectively ended their hopes of overtaking Port's percentage and gaining a home final.

Minor premiers Geelong belted Brisbane 22.13 (145) to 15.13 (103) at the `Gabba, but Cats key defender Matthew Egan suffered a foot injury early in the game.

Lions key forward Jonathan Brown kicked seven goals to win the Coleman Medal.

Also on Saturday, St Kilda sent Fraser Gehrig and Andrew Thompson into retirement with a 10-point win over wooden spooners Richmond at the MCG, 14.18 (102) to 13.14 (92).

In a match notable only for all the speculation about tanking, Melbourne ended their forgettable season with a 31-point win over Carlton at the MCG, 21.13 (139) to 15.18 (108).

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