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Two of the best sides in the 2013 AFL season have made the Grand Final. The old saying that only the top four sides make the AFL Grand Final continues to hold true.
Hawthorn finished the AFL season at the top of the table. They only lost three games for the season – and two of those were against the Geelong Cats. Hawthorn played the best football throughout the season, despite suffering a number of injuries to key players. The key for the club this year, is that they started producing their best football at the end of the season. With Cyril Rioli, Lance Franklin and Jarryd Roughead up forward the Hawks have the potential to pile on goals. Hawthorn’s kicking is elite, but with windy weather predicted it might cause problems hitting targets.
Fremantle is the undisputed king of defensive pressure in the AFL. They are manic. Last week, they attacked Sydney with such ferocity for one half of a match, that it was enough to win them the game. They’ll need three quarters at least to get the job done this week. Ryan Crowley and Hayden Ballantyne are hated by almost anyone who follows AFL (except for Dockers supporters of course) but they’re good at what they do. With stars like Pavlich, Sandilands, Nat Fyfe and many more, the Dockers are able to restrict the opposition and also kick big bags.
This should be a great game – especially if the weather is windy and terrible. The Hawks have fantastic kicking skills, and this will blunt their weapons somewhat. The Dockers are fierce fighters and will play hard and tough. Goals may be hard to come by, and expect a number of free kicks – particularly if Ryan Crowley and Hayden Ballantyne get up and about. If Hawthorn lose this game, expect big ramifications. Hawthorn by 12 points.