It’s Easter Monday and you know what that means. The Cats and Hawks do battle at the ‘G’ in one of the biggest grudge matches of the season with both sides looking for their second win of the year.
MCG, Monday 5th April 3:20pm AEST
This will be the first time these two sides will meet this season and it promises to be a cracking match. Obviously both clubs have massive and very passionate fan bases who will be desperate to get back to the MCG to see their teams go head to head. It’s going to be a packed out crowd and one of the most anticipated matches so far this season.
Both these sides have started the season with one win and one loss but arguably the Cats have been the more impressive of the two. Geelong were narrowly beaten by Adelaide in Adelaide to start the year before pulling out an enormous performance to beat the strong Brisbane Lions by one point in last week's thriller. Hawthorn scraped through with a one point win against the Bombers in the opening round before being unable to match motors with a clinical Richmond side last week.
One of the major talking points in the lead up to this match has been Isaac Smith playing against his old team for the first time since making the switch from the Hawks to the Cats. Smith becomes just the second player since 2008 to play for both Hawthorn and Geelong - telling us how big the rivalry is. There have been good signs and improvement for the Hawks from previous years and they will now be boosted by the return of Chad Wingard who will play his first match of the season. The Cats will have Mitch Duncan return to their midfield and will be much needed with Patrick Dangerfield and Gary Rohan both missing due to suspension.
I’m expecting the Cats to be too strong here this afternoon with their early-season form looking far stronger than their opponents. I think the Hawks will put up a strong fight however, with the history between these two sides showing that there is no shortage of tight matches. Tom Hawkins is a massive key to the outcome of this match with the big full forward going to need to be at his best this afternoon for his side. I think he matches up well with the Hawks defence and am expecting him to have a big impact on today’s outcome.
Across the park, Geelong look to have the stronger side on paper in many of the match ups we will see this afternoon and I think they’ll be too clinical for a Hawks team who struggle with their consistency in putting together a full four quarter performance.
Thinking Tom Hawkins is in for a massive game today as he comes up against a team which he historically plays extremely well against. In 24 games against Hawthorn, Hawkins has kicked 43 goals, the 3rd most he has kicked against any other side in the competition. Getting back to the MCG will be a bonus where he has kicked 131 goals in just 76 games. Iin a huge Easter Monday clash, I am expecting the Cats key front man to grab a bag this afternoon.
Tom Mitchell loves playing against the Cats. He averages over 30 disposals against his arch rivals across his career and will once again be at the forefront of his team’s chances here today. Obviously there is never much meat on the bone in terms of prices for Mitchell’s disposal count but I think he can have a massive game today. Going to go out on a limb a little to try add some value, but if any player can rack up 40 touches, it is Mitchell against the Cats.
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