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Puopolo knee scare compounds night to forget for Hawthorn

Highlights: Suns v Hawks Gold Coast and Hawthorn collide in the first round of the 2013 NAB Cup
A worrying knee injury to Hawthorn's Paul Puopolo and a questionable challenge by Lance Franklin overshadowed a post-siren NAB Cup win for the Gold Coast Suns.
 
Puopolo was involved in a nasty fall inside the last minute, but after being assisted to his feet by trainers, hobbled off the ground on his own.
 
Franklin might be in for an anxious few days after clipping Gold Coast's Matt Shaw high in the Suns' after-the-siren win at Metricon Stadium.

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Hawks coach Alastair Clarkson was not overly concerned by either incident immediately following Hawthorn's night.
 
"I haven't seen the docs since the game so I'll find out when I get back into the room, but I think he's ok, he's walking around. I think he'll be ok," Clarkson said of Puopolo.
 
Similarly, Franklin's slip-up was not on Clarkson's radar.
 
"I didn't see it mate, so I couldn't tell you," he said.
 
Mid-way through the second half, Shaw slipped in possession of the ball and was clipped around the head by Franklin.
 
It appeared to be minimal contact, but the Hawks superstar will face a nervous wait ahead of Monday's Match Review Panel meeting.
 
It was an exciting match that was only settled after Gold Coast utility Luke Russell kicked a behind from 50m on the left hand boundary line after the siren.
 
The Suns won 0.4.6 (30) to 0.4.5 (29).
 
Although the Hawks played without Sam Mitchell, Luke Hodge and Brad Sewell, the Suns were slick around the stoppages (15-10) and deserved their win.
 
Gary Ablett put a disrupted pre-season behind him to lead all players with 13 disposals – including a one-on-one strip of Franklin when the two stars collided during the second half.
 
Harley Bennell carried on his fine 2012 form, kicking two goals and finishing with seven disposals, while Jaeger O'Meara (seven disposals) was also prominent.
 
The Suns appeared to have a match-winning seven-point lead late in the contest, but a goal to Derek Wanganeen and a Hawks behind levelled the scores.
 
Just when the match appeared over, Russell was awarded a free kick as the siren sounded and calmly made the distance to score the winning point.
 
Matt Suckling was Hawthorn's best with 13 disposals, including a laser-like pass to makeshift forward Ryan Shoenmakers for a first-half goal.
 
Cyril Rioli was also lively in his largely midfield role, collecting six of his eight disposals in the first half.

What the coaches said
"I haven't seen the docs since the game so I'll find out when I get back into the room, but I think he's ok, he's walking around. I think he'll be OK." - Hawthorn coach Alastair Clarkson on Paul Puopolo

Fantasy snapshot
Defender Rory Thompson not only impressed in holding Lance Franklin goalless, he also equalled the third highest AFL Fantasy score in the game. Thompson's 38-point tally suggests at $221,600 he could be a value backline option. Ruckman Zac Smith ($300,700) matched Thompson's tally and after a quite 2012 season could be ready to be recapture his strong 2011 form. Highly touted youngster Jaeger O'Meara looked a ready made senior player and at $108,500 should make Fantasy coaches a lot of money. For the Hawks, Jonathan Simpkin ($195,800) and Bradley Hill ($191,700) looked good cheap midfield options.





GOLD COAST     0.2.3    0.4.6 (30)                 
HAWTHORN       0.2.4    0.4.5 (29)


SUPERGOALS
Gold Coast: -
Hawthorn: -

GOALS
Gold Coast:
Bennell 2, Harbrow, Smith
Hawthorn: Breust, Schoenmakers, Grimley, Wanganeen

BEST
Gold Coast:
Ablett, Bennell, Russell, Thompson
Hawthorn: Suckling, Rioli, Wanganeen, Gibson

INJURIES
Gold Coast:
Nil
Hawthorn: Puopolo (knee)

Reports: Nil