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In the mix: Semi Final

hawthornfc.com.au  September 12, 2018 1:00 PM

BALLARAT, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 3: Oliver Hanrahan of the Hawks celebrates his first AFL goal with teammates during the AFL 2018 JLT Community Series match between the Western Bulldogs and the Hawthorn Hawks at Mars Stadium on March 3, 2018 in Ballarat, Australia. (Photo by Adam Trafford/AFL Media)

BALLARAT, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 3: Oliver Hanrahan of the Hawks celebrates his first AFL goal with teammates during the AFL 2018 JLT Community Series match between the Western Bulldogs and the Hawthorn Hawks at Mars Stadium on March 3, 2018 in Ballarat, Australia. (Photo by Adam Trafford/AFL Media)

Hawthorn will be forced to make at least one change to its starting 22 for the club’s Semi Final clash with Melbourne, after defender Ben Stratton suffered a hamstring injury in Thursday night’s loss.

Read: All the injury news

Defenders David Mirra and Taylor Duryea were rested from Box Hill’s final on the weekend and will be firmly in contention to fill Stratton’s spot in Hawthorn’s back six.

Mirra was part of the Round 23 side that defeated Sydney, where he registered a team-high 11 one percenters, while Duryea lined up in the Hawks’ first 16 games of the season, averaging more than 15 disposals.

Versatile tall Ryan Schoenmakers will also be in frame to come back into the team after he was a late withdrawal last week with achilles soreness.

The 27-year-old has played eight games so far in 2018, including the side’s six-game winning streak to finish the home and away season.

Key defender Kaiden Brand is also another option the Hawks’ match committee will consider, after he gathered 21 disposals and took nine marks in Sunday’s VFL win.

Though the Hawks haven't blooded a debutant in finals since Dermott Brereton in 1982, Oliver Hanrahan has put himself well and truly in contention after two big performances in Box Hill's finals series. In the Elimination Final, he kicked the equaliser to take things into extra time. In the Semi Final, he booted three important goals to help Box Hill run away with the win.

Meanwhile veteran Brendan Whitecross (two goals, 17 disposals), midfielder James Cousins (27 disposals) and small defender Teia Miles (21 disposals) are outside chances to face Melbourne after also enjoy impressive outings in the VFL.