Key match-ups in 2nd AFL qualifying final


* Nic Naitanui and Callum Sinclair (Eagles) v David Hale and Ben McEvoy (Hawks):

The ruck battle will go a long way to deciding this match. Naitanui was on personal leave when the two teams met five weeks ago, and the Hawks were able to dominate the ruck late in the match to secure victory. Naitanui’s 360-degree range in the taps will be hard to stop. But the Hawks are likely to have the advantage during the stints where Sinclair is forced into the ruck. Naitanui and Sinclair have combined for 30 goals this season, adding vital scoring power to an already star-studded attack

* Josh Kennedy (Eagles) v Brian Lake (with Josh Gibson and James Frawley other options):

Kennedy is a lock to win his maiden All-Australian jumper this year after winning the Coleman medal with 75 goals. His four-goal effort against the Hawks in round 19 was almost enough to get his team over the line. Lake is likely to get first crack on Kennedy. But if the star Eagle gets off the leash, then expect Josh Gibson or James Frawley to move onto him. Forecast rain will nullify Kennedy’s marking strengths. But his ability to break open packs will create scoring opportunities for the likes of Mark LeCras, Josh Hill and Jamie Cripps

* Sam Mitchell (Hawks) v Matt Priddis (Eagles):

These two in-and-under stars will have no hesitation in getting their hands dirty in the rain. Priddis is a chance to win back-to-back Brownlows after producing yet another standout season. But the Eagles know all too well about Mitchell’s game-winning exploits. Mitchell tallied 36 disposals and nine clearances to inspire his team to victory against West Coast in round 19. And with Eagles coach Adam Simpson reluctant to employ a hard tag, Mitchell could have another field day

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