Hawks march on to preliminary final

7 september 2012 14:47

The Hawks were cleaner with the ball through the middle and took their chances when it really counted as they extended their lead at each change.

Trailing by 24 at three-quarter time, Collingwood needed everything to go right in the last quarter if they were to challenge in any way.

But the Magpies had run their race and a four-goal barrage in the quarter's first nine minutes saw Hawthorn run away with it in the end for a 20.15 (135) to 15.7 (97) result that puts the premiership favourites on the cusp of their first Grand Final since winning the flag in 2008.

The Magpies, though, will line up next weekend at the MCG for a qualifying final clash with either West Coast or North Melbourne but may have to do so without key defenders Nick Maxwell and Chris Tarrant, who will both be looked at by the match review panel on Monday.

Tarrant engaged in a running battle with full-forward Lance Franklin for much of the game, restricting him to four goals, although the big forward was influential in the run of goals to open the final term, setting up one for Jarryd Roughead and booting another himself.

But right from the outset, Tarrant attempted to physically intimidate Franklin and a jab to the forward's face during a wrestle could be looked at.

And, Pies skipper Maxwell will certainly be looked at for an off-the-ball clash with Paul Puopolo that left the Hawks forward with a bleeding nose as he left the field in the third term.

The Hawks, though, may not come out of the contest unscathed as ruckman Jarryd Roughead will also have an off-the-ball clash with Chris Dawes early in the second term examined by the MRP.

Given a two-week break before the preliminary final, the Hawks will be confident defender Brendan Whitecross can overcome a slight knee injury suffered at the ninth minute mark of the first quarter, a problem that saw him carried from the ground and immediately subbed out of the game.

In his absence, Hawthorn substitute Shane Savage stepped up to boot two goals in the first half in an impressive display.

Savage was helped in his efforts by some impressive efforts from usual suspects Brad Sewell (32 possessions), Sam Mitchell (31/12 clearances) and Liam Shiels (22), while Luke Breust's 19 touches were instrumental throughout the first three quarters as he kicked two goals and set up several others with his clean skills.

For the Magpies Travis Cloke booted an equal career-best six goals as he convincingly won his contest with Ryan Schoenmakers, while Andrew Krakouer's Lazarus-like return continued with four.

But both those forwards fluffed crucial shots at goal in the third quarter when the match was still on the line and their missed chances were ruthlessly capitalised on by the Hawks down the other end.

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