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Five talking points: R13

Riley Beveridge  June 16, 2018 10:40 PM

R13: Sicily after big win James Sicily had a night out as he impacted in defence and on the scoreboard with three goals.

1. A final in June
It was billed as a mini-elimination final in June, such was the importance of Saturday night's encounter in the context of this season. Both Hawthorn and Adelaide started the match a game outside the eight, with a win desperately required to remain in touching distance of the finals contenders. A 56-point loss means the Crows, having now suffered four straight defeats and with an extensive injury list to boot, might be down for the count. Having given Hawthorn a game in the first half, Adelaide was held scoreless in a quarter for just the seventh time in its history in the third term. Up the other end, Hawthorn couldn't stop piling them on. Set for the bye next weekend, last year's Grand Finalists could find themselves out of the September equation very soon – if they're not already.

Read: Match report - Hawks v Crows

2. Jack goes back
Jack Gunston is turning into Hawthorn's 'Mr Fix It'. Having returned to the forward line to start the season after being forced back due to a raft of injury problems last year, Gunston was again shifted into a defensive role on Saturday night. It came as Jonathon Ceglar was once again played one-out inside 50 for most of the clash. Starting loose across half-back, Gunston continued to show his superb ability to read the play in the air and set up attacking plays going the other way in a composed performance. He finished with 27 disposals from seven marks and was among Hawthorn's best.

Read: Clarko reinvents, again

3. Doing it at both ends
If Jack Gunston was impressive, the man next to him across half-back was just as good. James Sicily doesn't lack confidence. If the bright gold-flecked boots the defender donned on Saturday night didn't tell you that, the trio of long goals he kicked in the third term definitely did. As the Hawks broke the game open with eight unanswered goals to start the second half, Sicily got off the chain. On three separate occasions he unloaded from outside 50m to well and truly give Hawthorn the ascendency. Once again, he was the man to light the fuse at both ends for the Hawks.

4. Getting better with age
It's been 350 games of pure silk from Shaun Burgoyne. Not only did the veteran Hawk mark his milestone match with yet another classy performance, hardly putting a foot wrong with 24 disposals and six clearances, but he also added his name to the record books. Victory on Saturday night meant he also moved to outright fourth for the most individual wins in AFL/VFL history. A classy check-side goal late in the match was the icing on the cake. Turning 36 in October, who is to say he can't go around again in 2019? Playing as a high half-forward this season, Burgoyne continues to provide an impact in a Hawthorn side still chasing finals footy.

5. From Russia with love
If footy fans wanted to keep an eye on Australia's World Cup clash with France, they wouldn't have missed much from the MCG prior to half-time. Skills were sloppy, turnovers were frequent, and goals were at a premium throughout a frustrating first half. Fortunately, the game opened up after the main break – thanks in large part to a Hawthorn onslaught. For what it's worth, it ended 12-4 Hawthorn at the 'G and 2-1 France in Kazan.