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Roud 4, 2017 and there's a crisis...


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Cannot believe it.. I do a preview and roudup (on a best endeavours basis) for the Aussies at work, and this year has been a shocker for predicting the games outcomes. Who would have thought that Richmond at number 2, Melbourne in the 8, Essendon being so competitive so early on and GC and the Saints knocking on the final eight's doors so early in the season. Who also would have thought that Hawthorn, Sydney and the Kangaroos would be below Carlton propping up the ladder!


Adelaide, GWS, Port Adelaide are definitely the ones to watch this year - as is Richmond, but I am not so sure they have the mettle against the better sides. I feel a bit for North; they lost by 3 points to the doggies in what was one of the best games I have seen for a while, they were beaten by GWS - one of the premier favourties last week but held good acocunt of themselves, lost by a point to Geelong but were beaten at home by West Coast. Still, they have been much more competitive than the pitiful teams they share the same points tally with, being Hawthorn and Sydney, who seem to have had a spectacular fall from Grace. At least Sydney can console themselves that they have some pretty important players out injured; Hawthorn can only blame themselves for ridding themselves of the wrong players.


This year promises to be as every bit exciting, if not more, than last year. Apart from some outliers, the teams, the competition is a tough one to pick and it will be an interesting September/October.


Tomorrow the Hawks take on the Cats and about the only thing that will give the Hawks a chance of winning is Speedy Selwood or Dangerfield are taken out of the equation - and I can't see anyone in the Hawks lineup being able to do that.


Bring it on!



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Cats trounce the Hawks by 86 points... If you're a Hawks fan, it must have been a tough game to watch as they descended to their ways of the '90s; hanging in there, and then all but giving up. For the Cats fan, it would have been pure bliss. Motlop, Guthrie, Hawkins and Dangerfield were stellar; Selwood was awesome and the rest of the Cats were just, well, great.. For the Hawks, Hodge was the only consistent performer; with Langford, Sicily and Burgoygne about the only ones showing a hint of the glory days recently passed. Gunston, Smith, Bruest, Stratton, Gibson, Rioli, Roughead were nowhere to be seen, except for a few good tackles from Rioli. Previous champions (although a couple older) were playing like men dispossesed. It is surprising the precipice they have fallen off; even in the 90s, their fall from grace was gradual.


The big takeaways for the cats are that their ball skills have improved, and while the Hawks put up little competition, their ability to use the ball through the corridor as well as the wings, with players in reserve wherever the ball was, will make them a formidable foe for any of the big guns in the league; They will have to work on their accuracy though - as when they were under a semblance of pressure being applied by Hawthorn, their kicking was wayward (2 goals 7 at one point, and 4 of those 7 would have been more often than not goals). But an 11 goal straight run rome while the Hawks lazily watched on improved their accuracy, at least on the board. The main improvement the cats need to work on is their accuracy in front of goal under pressure.


The Hawks - well they have some takeaways, too. On the positive side, Hodge, but also their tackling in the early part of the game was very strong; occasionally going unrewarded when they should have been. But there wasn't much else. They havbe a mountain to climb and need to improve their ball skills, intensity, fitness, hunger, stratefy and team-mateship. Not much! They are looking like this years version of last year's Fremantle.



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