Sunday 22nd, April / Etihad Stadium / 3:20 pm
Last week, as underdogs, the Hawks had a big win over Melbourne while North enjoyed a even bigger win against Carlton.
Not many would’ve tipped North to be pushing for the 8 to start the season, but here they are sitting 2-2 and a game out.
They’ve yet to play a top 8 side so far this season though, so Hawthorn are North Melbourne’s first real test. They’ve lost 6 in a row to them with their last win coming in 2014.
Hawthorn’s on-ball brigade of Mitchell, Shiels and O’Meara has been hard to stop for teams and they should be too strong for the likes of Cunnington, Jacobs and Dumont.
The Hawks are sitting comfortably at fourth and will go into today’s matchup with confidence that they can win these sorts of games and stake a charge for a top 4 finish.
The Stats that Matter
With the likes of those mentioned above running around for Hawthorn, it’s easy to understand that they sit #1 for both centre clearances and clearances. It helps that Tom Mitchell leads the league in clearances per game with 47.
North statistically have the best defence in the league, only conceding 251 points a game. Pretty impressive for a team most people have written off. Their defensive six will have to be on top of their game today though, because Hawthorn average a league-high 15 goals a game and could prove difficult to contain.
North only hit a target at 64% of the time, a stat only better than Gold Coast so if this continues they’ll struggle against a top side in Hawthorn.
Jaeger O’Meara has been a popular name in everyone’s pre-season teams for the last 5 years. Since arriving at Gold Coast and then making the move to Hawthorn, he’s been constantly picked thanks to his scoring potential – and then traded out early due to injury. He’s rewarding our patience with an average of 98, a 3-round average of 104, and a price of just 392k.
Ben Brown has a 3-round average of 126! He can’t stop scoring goals and he’s been scoring well in Supercoach. A score of 21 early proves why key position forwards are a tough pick though, so be weary!
Tip and Best Bets
Hawks to win this one. While North are proving that they aren’t an easy beat, they’ve yet to prove themselves against to top teams.
Just can’t see North getting on top of Hawthorn in the middle, and their defence will come up against a very strong forward line.
Hawthorn -11.5 / 1.95 / Pointsbet [1 unit]
Hawthorn -8.5 3Q / 1.91 / Sportsbet [1 unit]
Tom Mitchell top SC scorer (group 1) / 2.75 / Sportsbet [1 unit]