Crunch time for five AFL finals hopefuls - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Crunch time for five AFL finals hopefuls

By Roger Vaughan 11/07/2003 07:50:29 PM Comments (0)

When five AFL teams review their 2003 season this September, they could well point to round 15 as the make or break point.

For Hawthorn, Essendon, the Kangaroos, Collingwood and Fremantle, this is crunch time.

Hawthorn's trip to Brisbane, the Kangaroos' home game against Melbourne and Collingwood v Fremantle at the MCG highlight this weekend's intriguing fixture.

Essendon has opened the round with another big match, against Adelaide at AAMI Stadium.

The Bombers and Hawks are the biggest stories of the weekend, sitting half a game outside the top eight and on a roll.

Hawthorn has suffered fearfully in Brisbane over the last few years, but the Lions have lost three of their last four and the Hawks are on a four-game winning streak.

Hawthorn will be strengthened by the return of key forward Nick Holland from injury, but could not consider ruckman Peter Everitt because of recurring hamstring trouble.

The out-of-sorts Lions also look stronger, recalling premiership big men Clark Keating, Darryl White and Alastair Lynch.

The team most under pressure from Hawthorn and Essendon is the Kangaroos, winless since the bye.

Last week's big loss to Collingwood would have rung the alarm bells at Arden St and now, two months from the finals, would be the worst-possible time for the `Roos to lose three in a row.

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