Main content
Website-Header_HFC_Always-v2.png

History counts for nothing: Hale

Hale excited for finals challenge David Hale speaks to HawksTV ahead of Hawthorn's Qualifying Final with Geelong.
David Hale of the Hawks celebrates a goal during the 2014 AFL Round 22 match between the Hawthorn Hawks and the Geelong Cats at the MCG, Melbourne on August 23, 2014. (Photo: Sean Garnsworthy/AFL Media)
David Hale of the Hawks celebrates a goal during the 2014 AFL Round 22 match between the Hawthorn Hawks and the Geelong Cats at the MCG, Melbourne on August 23, 2014. (Photo: Sean Garnsworthy/AFL Media)

THE HISTORY between Hawthorn and Geelong counts for nothing in Friday night’s Qualifying Final clash according to Hawthorn’s David Hale.

The Hawks have won two of the last three meetings between the two sides, including a victory in Round 22.

While the Hawks have taken confidence from overturning a 33-point deficit into a 23-point win, Hale says finals footy is a different ball game.

“It’s always good to beat them but we start all over again on Friday night,” Hale told hawthornfc.com.au

“It’s a whole new ball game; history doesn’t count for a lot.

“Finals footy is always different, it’s a step up in pressure and intensity.

“Geelong-Hawthorn games are always pretty tight and well fought out and we expect nothing less on Friday.”

The winner of the clash at the MCG will advance straight through to Preliminary Final weekend, earning a week off as the remaining sides battle it out for the final two spots.

The Hawks have benefitted from that break the last two years, so they know the benefits of earning the rest.

As one of his team’s most experienced players, Hale, 30, says the rest is crucial in what is an intense and challenging finals campaign.

“If we can get a win, it’s going to be vitally important for our finals series,” he said.

“There’s a fair bit on the line - second versus third - to get that week off is important.”

The Hawks will need to overcome a side that had 100 more disposals and a five goal lead mid-way through the third quarter against them just two weeks ago.

In a game that was a tale of two halves, with Hawthorn hitting back in the second with 11 goals to three, Hale hopes there won’t be as much of the “bad” on Friday night.

“It was the way they played and our inability to stop them from playing the way they wanted to in the first half hurt us,” he said.

“It was probably similar but a reverse story in the second half. There was a bit of good and bad.

“Hopefully we can eliminate the bad stuff we brought and bring a four quarter effort on Friday night and get a win.”

Skipper Luke Hodge, defender Ben Stratton and midfielder Bradley Hill are all expected to return from injury but the Hawks will need to secure victory without superboot Matt Suckling.

Suckling, who injured his knee against the Cats two weeks ago was ruled out by Coach Alastair Clarkson on Thursday.