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Match preview: Hawthorn v Gold Coast

Pick a Winner: Haw v GC Duck and Browny preview the Hawks v Suns

SUMMARY
Lest you think this will be a stroll in the park for Hawthorn, cast your mind back 12 months ago to when the Suns twice comfortably handled the Hawks, including an 86-point thrashing at Metricon Stadium. Gold Coast was impressive for three quarters against St Kilda before falling in a hole once again and will need to bring that dash and dare with it to chilly Launceston, this time for the full four quarters. The Hawks remain a work in progress, solid defensively and through the midfield, but are still trying to bed down the right forward structure. It clicked beautifully in the third term on Saturday night when they slammed on seven goals, but they managed just five in the other three quarters, despite dominating clearances and inside 50s. If those struggles continue, this will be closer than many anticipate.

WHERE AND WHEN: University of Tasmania Stadium, Saturday, June 23, 1.45pm AEST 
TV AND RADIO: Click here for broadcast guide 

LAST FIVE MEETINGS
R12, 2017, Gold Coast Suns 13.17 (95) d Hawthorn 12.7 (79) at the MCG
R3, 2017, Gold Coast Suns 21.13 (139) d Hawthorn 7.11 (53) at Metricon Stadium
R14, 2016, Hawthorn 12.14 (86) d Gold Coast Suns 8.12 (60) at University of Tasmania Stadium
R9, 2015, Hawthorn 14.9 (93) d Gold Coast Suns 6.4 (40) at University of Tasmania Stadium
R15, 2014, Hawthorn 17.14 (116) d Gold Coast Suns 10.3 (63) at University of Tasmania Stadium

THE SIX POINTS
1. When the teams last played the Suns had 54 more disposals, took 24 more marks and smashed the Hawks in the clearances 42-27. Gary Ablett was best on ground with 37 disposals, two goals and 10 tackles.

2. The Suns continue to struggle in most areas, ranked last for disposals per game, marks inside 50, goals per game and second-last for inside 50s and centre clearances.

3. The Suns continue to struggle to finish games. They have lost 11 of 12 final quarters, they have managed just 105 points while conceding 306 and have not kicked a goal in a fourth quarter since round eight.

4. The teams have played four times at University of Tasmania Stadium with Hawthorn undefeated; Gold Coast has lost nine of its past 10 and 12 of its past 15 interstate matches.

5. Hawthorn is ranked fourth for inside 50s averaging 56 per game but are 11thfor marks inside 50; it is equal sixth for goals per game and fourth for accuracy.

6. Gold Coast’s David Swallow is the 174th-listed player according to the Schick AFL Player Ratings.

IT’S A BIG WEEK FOR …  
Having spent last Sunday wining and dining with the Hawks as a hero of their 2008 premiership team, Stuart Dew now plots to beat them. But first, he needs to find a salve for their horrific fourth quarters. In the Suns' last four games they’ve scored just 0.2 in their final terms.

PREDICTION: Hawthorn by 10 points

The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs