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Five to watch: R4

Ben Stratton 150 Games The premiership defender will notch up 150 games this week against the Demons.

Ben Stratton

Ben Stratton is set to play his 150th game against Melbourne this Sunday. Taken with the 46th pick in the 2009 draft, Stratton has been an integral part of the Hawthorn defence since his arrival at the club. The 29-year old has built a reputation as one of the elite small defenders of the competition and has won three premierships in the process. This weekend Stratton will likely spend his time on the likes of dangerous Demons Christian Petracca and Jeff Garlett. His ability to stop these goal kickers will be telling if the Hawks are to overcome the Dees for the 15th time of the sides’ last 16 encounters. 

Read: The rise of Ben Stratton

Ricky Henderson

Almost every player in the league can vouch for being overshadowed by Tom Mitchell’s opening three rounds to the season but perhaps none more so than Ricky Henderson. In his second season in the brown and gold, Henderson has been in strong form, averaging 20 disposals, six marks and three inside 50s per game. But where the 29-year old has further excelled so far this year is in his ability to hit the scoreboard, kicking 1.3 goals per game, a rate that he has never reached before throughout his nine-season career. The Hawks would love for Henderson to boot a goal or two this week as they face the highest scoring side so far this year in Melbourne. 

Jarryd Roughead

Jarryd Roughead has been at his consistent best throughout the first three rounds of 2018. The only Hawk to have kicked a goal in each of the first three games, the captain leads the club’s goal kicking ranks alongside Luke Breust with seven majors. Roughead is also averaging 11.7 disposals, 5.3 marks and 2.7 inside 50s and has continued to influence games when the Hawks need him most. Roughead was the hero the last time these sides met, kicking four goals and making a game-saving spoil, and Hawthorn fans will be hoping for a similar effort from the skipper this Sunday. 

Jesse Hogan

Jesse Hogan has arguably been the Demons most influential player in the opening three weeks. Only four of his teammates have had more disposals than Hogan, with the key forward averaging 21.3 disposals along with 6.3 marks and 4.3 inside 50s. Spending more time in the midfield this season, the two-time club leading goal kicker has remained potent in front of the big sticks, leading his side with nine goals. Former Demon James Frawley is a likely match-up for the Western Australian and will be keen to curb Hogan’s influence as the two clubs clash this weekend. 

Read: A closer look at Melbourne's Round 4 line up

Christian Petracca

With an ability to impact the game in so many ways, Petracca is one of the most damaging players in the Demons line-up. Averaging 24.3 disposals, 4.3 marks, 4.3 inside 50s and 1.7 goals, the 22-year old can rack the ball up, create scoring opportunities or simply kick the goals himself. The former 2nd overall pick is certainly one to watch this weekend as these two sides vie for their third respective win of the season. 

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