Hey Hawks, Cats got your tongue

Written By Unknown on Senin, 29 Juli 2013 | 23.40

Hawthorn star Lance Franklin jostles with nemesis Geelong full-back Tom Lonergan. Picture: Wayne Ludbey Source: Wayne Ludbey / HeraldSun

IT IS the Kryptonite to the AFL's superhuman forward line.

Hawthorn, fresh from one of the most complete performances of the season against Essendon on Friday night, boasts a firepower that petrifies its rivals.

Lance Franklin, Jarryd Roughead, Luke Breust, Paul Puopolo, Jack Gunston, Cyril Rioli and Jordan Lewis represent the attacking pack that could propel the Hawks to this year's premiership. But the only problem is a glaring problem. There's one defence they simply can't break.

You guessed it - Geelong.

The side that has owned the Hawks for the past five years is this year making the brown and gold threat look more like Clark Kent than Superman.

To best illustrate the defensive hold the Cats have on Hawthorn, we need to detail just how good the Hawks' attack has been in 2013.

After 19 rounds, they average 7.3 points a game more than their rivals and back this up by ranking fifth in points-against.

They average 9.6 more inside 50s, ranked second. Once inside 50m they goal 30.8 per cent of the time, ranked No.1, while averaging 15.1 marks inside 50m per game, also No.1.

The Hawks haven't generated as many turnovers forward of centre as Geelong and Sydney, but they make up for this by punishing the opposition 40.5 per cent of the time.

Roughead's 54 goals are the equal-most in the AFL, Franklin is No.1 for groundball gets (2.6 per game), Breust has racked up the most score assists (34) and Puopolo is the best forward 50m pressure man in the league.

Then there's Lewis; of the top 50 kickers inside 50m, his result in a mark 28.4 per cent of the time - ranked fifth in the competition.

They are a formidable combination.

But like the caped crusader when confronted by the green stuff, they come spectacularly unstuck against Geelong.

When the ball has been inside Hawthorn's 50m arc this year, Buddy and Roughy and Co. have kicked a goal 32.7 per cent of the time. Against the Cats this plummets to 17.6 per cent.

Marks inside 50m drops from 15.1 to 11 and the points-for average falls dramatically from 123.3 to 79.

Hawthorn hasn't struggled to get the ball inside 50m against the Cats either, advancing it inside its attacking arc an average 62.5 times this year compared with 56.4 against other sides.

They simply can't generate a score. Harry Taylor gets Roughead, Tom Lonergan has subdued Franklin, Corey Enright has a good record on Rioli and Josh Hunt and Andrew Mackie share responsibility for Breust and Puopolo.

There's no Kennett curse in that.

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