Sunday’s (28/08/2016) AFL 2016 Round 23 match is between Hawthorn Hawks and Collingwood Magpies. The opening bounce is set to commence at 15:20 local time with the game to be played at MCG. The home team Hawthorn Hawks are the favourite for the match. View our preview and teams for the game between Hawthorn Hawks and Collingwood Magpies.
When: 15:20 | Sunday 28/08/2016
B: T.Duryea, J.Frawley, S.Burgoyne
HB: L.Hodge, J.Gibson, G.Birchall
C: I.Smith, S.Mitchell, B.Hill
HF: L.Breust, J.Gunston, C.Rioli
F: P.Puopolo, R.Schoenmakers, J.Sicily
R: B.McEvoy, J.Lewis, L.Shiels
I/C from: J.Fitzpatrick, B.Whitecross, B.Hartung, R.Burton, M.Pittonet, K.Brand, K.Lovell
IN: J.Fitzpatrick, R.Schoenmakers, M.Pittonet, K.Lovell
B: B.Maynard, N.Brown, M.Williams
HB: J.Smith, J.Howe, T.Phillips
C: S.Sidebottom, A.Treloar, J.Aish
HF: R.Wills, T.Cloke, T.Varcoe
F: J.De Goey, J.White, B.Crocker
R: B.Grundy, S.Pendlebury, J.Crisp
I/C from: B.Macaffer, T.Goldsack, J.Blair, J.Witts, J.Marsh, L.Greenwood, A.Oxley
IN: T.Cloke, T.Goldsack, B.Macaffer, J.Witts
Hawthorn have pledged to pull out all stops to win their Sunday AFL showdown with Collingwood, but that might not mean rushing players back from injury.
The Hawks have a vacancy for a key tall after Jonathan Ceglar’s ACL injury in Friday night’s 25-point loss to West Coast.
While not like-for-like ruck replacements, three premiership players in Hawthorn’s treatment rooms would fit the bill: Ryan Schoenmakers, Ben Stratton and Matt Spangher.
Unfortunately for the Hawks, all three have yet to prove their fitness for the match that will decide whether they finish in the top four.
Schoenmakers (groin) and Spangher (hamstring) played in the VFL on Saturday as part of their attempts to return to the seniors.
Hawthorn football boss Chris Fagan said the pair was better for their run-out but suggested they were long shots to play the Magpies.
“They got through the game and they pulled up well which is always the test,” he told the club’s website.
“Both are out there training today and they’ll be available for selection over the next few weeks.”
Key defender Stratton, who has a pectoral injury, didn’t play in the reserves as he’s being kept on ice for the Hawks’ finals campaign.
“He’s quite close for this week but we probably won’t take that risk with him,” Fagan said.
“He’s doing skill work this week and he should be in good shape come first week of finals.”
The Hawks are left with two ruck options they haven’t touched all season.
Developing ruck Marc Pittonet, who hasn’t played since round one, could be thrown back in, or coach Alastair Clarkson could give Jack Fitzpatrick his first match in brown and gold since an off-season move from Melbourne.
Or they could simply go in small against the Magpies in a match Fagan described as “like a final”.
“Our destiny is in our hands. We just have to win and we finish top four which was has been our goal from the get go,” he said.
“Having that double chance is not necessarily vital but it’s very, very important. We’ll be pulling all the stops out on Sunday.”
Fagan said Ceglar would see a specialist about knee surgery this week ahead of a 12-month layoff.
Earlier on Tuesday, the three-time premiers re-signed veterans Luke Hodge, 32, Shaun Burgoyne, 33, and Josh Gibson, 32, on one-year deals to play on in 2017.