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Key match ups: R11

Dan Batten   May 31, 2018 2:33 PM

Last Time We Met: Port Adelaide R11, 2017 Last time we met Port Adelaide Jarman Impey was taking hangers for Power so hopefully this Saturday we see the tables turned for Sir Doug Nicholls Round.

The Hawks will hope to turn their season around in Launceston in what is set up to be the game of the round.

There is plenty on the line in this contest, with a win for either side giving them the chance to enter the top-eight.

Hawthorn are coming off three straight defeats and will look to consolidate with their bye to follow this match-up. Fresh off the bye themselves, the Power will be raring to go.

Read: Clarko reaches lofty milestone

The match also marks the first occasion Jarman Impey will play his old side.

With both sides possessing quality players, there are a number of match-ups that are likely to impact the result.

Here are some of the potential ‘one-on-ones’ ahead of Saturday afternoon:

Jarman Impey vs Justin Westhoff

Fans of both sides will be keeping a close eye on Jarman Impey, who faces his former Port Adelaide teammates for the first time this weekend. Impey has been an inspired pick up, injecting pace and intensity into the Hawthorn side playing in a variety of roles. His game last week was one of his best in Hawks colours, finishing with 17 disposals, seven tackles and adding two goals. If he plays off a wing this weekend, he may be paired against another utility in Justin Westhoff, who is enjoying a career best season. Two very different sized opponents, it would be an intriguing battle if they line up next to each other on Saturday.

Tom Mitchell vs Brad Ebert

Tom Mitchell fought gallantly against stopper Eagle Mark Hutchings last week and is likely to face one of the better taggers in the business in Brad Ebert. The ball-magnet was a touch below his usual output on Sunday, collecting 28 touches, but worked hard defensively to lay a game-high 10 tackles. Mitchell has been curbed by Ben Jacobs and George Hewett in 2018 but has done some of his finest work in Tasmania, racking up 45 disposals against the Saints in Round 6. Brad Ebert was best afield last time these two sides played with 34 disposals and 12 tackles.

Blake Hardwick vs Robbie Gray

Blake Hardwick will face one of his toughest assignments yet if Clarkson decides to send him to pocket rocket Robbie Gray. The youngster kicked his first AFL goal last week and was among the Hawks’ best in defence, with West Coast small forwards Mark Lecras and Jamie Cripps combining for just one goal. Gray had his poorest game for the season in China but his six-goal haul in the Showdown showed how devastating he can be. The 21-year-old will have his hands full, but he is certainly ready for the challenge.

Jarryd Roughead vs Tom Jonas

Jarryd Roughead thrives down in Launceston, averaging almost two and a half goals a game at the venue. He will have one of the most underrated defenders in the competition for company in Tom Jonas, who ranks in the top five in the competition for intercepts and one percenters. Roughead needs just one major to have kicked 100 goals at University of Tasmania Stadium, having failed to add a goal against the Saints in trying conditions in Round 6. With sunny conditions expected for Saturday, ‘Roughy’ should fare better this time around.  

Ben McEvoy vs Paddy Ryder

Ben McEvoy was beaten by the athletic Nic Naitanui last week, finishing with just 11 disposals and 22 hit-outs. The 28-year-old will be challenged again up against the 2017 All-Australian ruckman, who would have benefitted from the week off. While Ryder is likely to be the better man in ruck contests, it will be the around the ground stakes that will ultimately determine the victor, an area in which McEvoy has shone this season. McEvoy will get some much needed relief from the returning Jonathan Ceglar if he remains in the side.