2014 AFL grand final a replay of 2012 clash

The AFL Grand Final between Hawthorn and the Sydney Swans at the MCG is promising to be a spectacular clash of the titans. 

Over 200 matches, across 27 weeks, with 18 teams and it all boils down to this.

The AFL Grand Final between Hawthorn and the Sydney Swans Saturday at the Melbourne Cricket Ground is promising to be a spectacular clash of the titans.

The two best sides in the 2014 competition are again going head to head in a 2012 premiership replay.

Abby Dinham reports.

(Click on the audio tab above to hear the full report)

"And they're home all right, they've done it what a team. That culture. The bloods (Swans). That's what it's all about."

Two years later, the Hawks are hoping to reverse that result.

Hawthorn and the Swans have shared the last two premierships between them, but since the 2012 Grand Final Lance Franklin has swapped the brown and gold, for the red and white.

Buddy has again has found himself on the team favoured to take out the flag, after the Swans won the minor premiership.

"It's worked out that we play Hawthorn, they're my old club, but in saying that once we cross the white line it's just another game."

Franklin has kicked 75 goals in 21 games with the Swans, making him a major target for the Hawks defenders.

But Buddy insists all eyes won't be on him.

"In the big games it's kicking the goals that count and it's something that I've been working on and hopefully on Saturday I'll be able to convert but in saying that we've got other forwards in the team that are able to kick the goals on Saturday so hopefully we can share the workload."

Meanwhile the Hawks are looking to make it back to back flags after a tumultuous year that saw them lose coach Alastair Clarkson mid-season after he was diagnosed with a disorder affecting his peripheral nervous system.

Cyril Rioli has also been on the Hawks injury bench for 12 weeks with a hamstring injury, but after playing in the VFL Grand Final last weekend he's tipped to make a return at the Grand Final.

But midfielder Sam Mitchell says the injury list this season has been better than previous years.

"We had a few injuries in one block in the season with Gibbo, myself, Lakey and Cyril and those guys but our injury toll over the course of the whole season has been lower than other years and although it was all at one time caught a bit of media attention but we've actually lost fewer games to injury this year than last year so we don't feel like we've been just sticking by and had everything go against us, obviously Clarko getting sick was a bit different but we won five games when he wasn't there."

Only once before have the Hawks successfully defended their flag, in 1988-89, but Mitchell is confident the side has the heart to take club premiership number 12.

"We're underdogs as far as everyone thinks which is rightly so they deserve to be favourites they've been the best team all year they've lost two games in 20 so they've played very good footy but we think our best can beat them."

The match will be the 250th for Hawks skipper Luke Hodge, and number 351 for Swans utility Adam Goodes who is tipped to retire this year. Both teams will ultimately be looking to honour their veterans with Grand Final victory, a combination that promises to deliver an historic clash for the fans.





Source World News Australia

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