WHERE AND WHEN: MCG, Sunday, April 15, 3.20pm AEST
SUMMARY It’s a big game for the Demons. If they can get over the Hawks they’ll be off to their first 3-1 start to a season since 2005. They come into this clash with Jesse Hogan and Christian Petracca in excellent early-season touch and ruckman Max Gawn as influential as ever. But the Hawks represent a significant step up in class for Melbourne this week. They’re much better around the ball this year with Tom Mitchell and Jaeger O’Meara relishing the service given by Ben McEvoy, who will be a tough match-up for Gawn. Hawthorn will be better for the return from suspension of rebounding defender James Sicily because he sets up the backline and allows Jack Gunston to return close to goal where he is at his most dangerous. Last year’s game went down the wire, but the Hawks still won despite their poor form coming in. They’re in better nick 12 months on.
LAST FIVE TIMES
R7, 2017, Hawthorn 14.10 (94) d Melbourne 14.7 (91) at the MCG
R20, 2016, Melbourne 17.8 (110) d Hawthorn 11.15 (81) at the MCG
R11, 2016, Hawthorn 11.16 (82) d Melbourne 10.4 (64) at the MCG
R7, 2015, Hawthorn 24.11 (155) d Melbourne 7.8 (50) at the MCG
R20, 2014, Hawthorn 17.13 (115) d Melbourne 9.11 (65) at the MCG
Father Dougal’s Tip: Someone by less than a goal. Okay, fine, Hawks by 1, ’cause they are at home.
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