AFL round 4 preview : Hawthorn v St Kilda 2:10pm AEST, Saturday, April 16 Aurora Stadium, Launceston
Hawthorn gets their easiest match-up of the season so far, and St Kilda their hardest.
Selection NotesHawthorn loses Josh Gibson to hamstring tightness, which is a pseudonym for being rested, but has a fair replacement in Luke Hodge. Ryan Schoenmakers and Jonathon O’Rourke are also out. In come Tim O’Brien and Daniel Howe.
St Kilda have lost three to injury, Dylan Roberton, Luke Dunstan and Jimmy Webster. The replacements are Tom Lee (in for his first match since Round 14, 2014) Blake Acres and Eli Templeton.
Form Hawthorn are in the unusual position of having beaten off their two most likely threats for the flag, West Coast and Western Bulldogs, giving them a 2-1 win-loss record after two rounds, yet still sit outside the eight. The Hawks couldn’t get the game played on their terms in Round 1 against Geelong, did exactly that against the Eagles, and then had to rely on last gasp heroics to defeat the Dogs.
St Kilda have been playing well enough for the level they are at, and got the deserved win against Collingwood by applying pressure and exposing the skill weakness of the Pies. Prior to that they couldn’t match the Dogs at Etihad, and ran out of legs against Port.
Stats That MatterHawthorn are 2-1 ATS and 2-1 at the over to open the season. St Kilda are 1-2 ATS and 1-2 at the under in this tie. In thmeir last 15 games at Aurora Stadium, the Hawks are 73% ATS and 40% at the under. St Kilda’s last 29 interstate matches have seen them run at a lowly 34% ATS and 34% at the under. Hawthorn have won their last five against the Saints, by an average of 64 points.