The Suns have thrashed the Hawks at their last two meetings and should get the job done again.
Gold Coast’s dominance at clearances and contested footy has been too much for the Hawks to overcome at their last two meetings.
While Hawthorn were playing without a recognised ruckman when they last met the Gold Coast, they showed even last week against the Suns that they are vulnerable in this area of the game.
They lost the clearance count by 15, which was their worst differential of the year, striking given they are the last ranked side in the league by this metric. By contrast, the Suns are in the top six.
Much has been made of Hawthorn’s defensive improvement of late, but this has largely been driven by a soft schedule. In the last five weeks they have played GWS, Adelaide, West Coast, North and St. Kilda – not exactly a murderer’s row of offensive sides.
Against a Hawks side down their key forward threat in Mitch Lewis, the Suns deserve to be favourites.
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Touk Miller is surging into Brownlow contention and should be in for another big game here. James Sicily dropped below 20 for the first time last week and should bounce back, while Tom Mitchell has cleared thirty in four of the last five games. Jacob Koschitzke should see plenty of targets with Lewis out.
The Suns are notorious slow starters, having only won four of eighteen first quarters this season, whereas the Hawks are much better out of the blocks, with an 11-8 record.
Gold Coast might just run over them and you are getting a very attractive price.