Where and when: Adelaide Oval, Saturday, March 23, 4.05pm (ACDT)
Last time they met: MCG, round 13, 2018: Hawthorn 12.16 (88) beat Adelaide 4.8 (32).
The Hawks blew the game apart in the third quarter, turning a four-point half-time buffer into a comfortable 48-point lead at the final change. James Sicily starred for the Hawks with 24 disposals and three goals, and Tom Mitchell had 40 touches on his way to the Brownlow Medal. It was the fourth-straight loss for the undermanned Crows, who were without Rory Sloane, Rory Laird, Brad Crouch, Tom Lynch and Brodie Smith.
What it means for Adelaide: This is a fresh start for the Crows after a disappointing season in 2018. They’ve got almost a full list to choose from and are primed for a quick bounce back to premiership contention
What it means for Hawthorn: It’s a difficult first-up assignment without Tom Mitchell – likely to miss the season with a broken leg – star recruits Chad Wingard and Tom Scully, and veteran Grant Birchall.
How Adelaide wins: The Crows will be looking to transition the ball quickly out of defence, spread hard from contests and give their forwards plenty of quality ball inside the attacking 50.
How Hawthorn wins: The midfield battle will be crucial. Jaeger O’Meara, Liam Shiels, James Worpel and James Cousins at least need to break even with Rory Sloane, Matt and Brad Crouch and Bryce Gibbs to give their forwards enough opportunities and deny Adelaide’s star-studded attack the chance to run riot.
The stat: The Hawks have a sensational recent record against the Crows, winning nine of their past 10 encounters. Adelaide Oval doesn’t hold any fears for the Hawks, who have won all three games against the Crows at the venue.
The match-up: Daniel Talia v Jarryd Roughead
These two experienced bookends have had plenty of battles over the years. According to the Schick AFL Player Ratings, Talia is ranked No. 6 among key defenders in the competition while Roughead, fresh off booting five goals in the JLT Community Series game against Richmond, is the seventh-best key forward in the League.
Thommo’s Tip: Adelaide by 24 points
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