By Tom Sermani @tom_sermani
Hawthorn: $1.36 -19.5
Port Adelaide: $3.69 +21.5
Points Total Line: 187.5
Hawthorn: Won four of last five and eight of last ten matches.
Port Adelaide: Won four of last five and five of last ten matches.
Hawthorn: Matt Suckling returns in place of Brad Sewell.
Port Adelaide: No changes.
Jarryd Roughead has had another excellent season with 64 goals under his belt, averaging 3.05 goals per game, a career high.
His presence creates space for Gunston and Breust and as a whole they make up probably the best balanced forward line in the competition. He has seven goals in his last two appearances against the Power, including a bagful of five in round 16 of last year.
Roughead can also help in the ruck when needed.
Jordan Lewis is in career best form and has become as important a midfielder to this Hawks side as Sam Mitchell.
He’s averaged 27.7 disposals and almost a goal a game in 2014. He’s also averaged 4 tackles per game, another career high number.
Lewis has that knack of producing his best right when his team need it most and it’s hard to see him not having a major influence on this match.
Matthew Lobbe has slowly become one of the best ruck men in the game, although he rarely gets the credit he deserves.
As well as being excellent in the ruck, Lobbe has laid more tackles per game than any ruckman in the competition in 2014 with 6.4. That puts him in 10th place for average tackles made in the competition. His nine tackles against Fremantle in the semi-final were key to their unlikely victory.
An average of 26.6 disposals makes this the best season in that department in Boak’s eight year AFL career. He’s also weighed in with 18 goals.
Where Boak is most important to this Port team, however, is immeasurable. He is a leader on and off the pitch and his teammates visibly look to him when the chips are down, and almost invariably this season Boak has delivered.
Against Fremantle he was well shackled by Ryan Crowley but when his team needed him most he came through with flying colours and ended with 16 disposals, the vast majority of which came in the final third of the match.
Hawthorn have won six of the last ten matches between the two sides, including five of the last six with Port victorious in four.
The last meeting saw Port come out 100-86 winners at Adelaide Oval in round 10 but it should be noted that the Hawks were without Lake, Gibson, Roughead and Mitchell that night and they were sorely missed.
Hawthorn have won eleven of their twelve matches at the MCG this year and this experience against a Port side having only played there the once – losing to Collingwood – could be important.