16/04/2024
With Hawthorn firmly in rebuild mode, the second half of the year will be about improvement for the kids, and hopefully avoiding the wooden spoon

Image: @HawthornFC. Twitter

As they enter the second half of the year, Hawthorn is second last, firmly in rebuild territory. And with just two last gasp wins for the year they will be fighting to avoid the spoon.

As we hit the bye rounds in the AFL season, The Inner Sanctum will be conducting our mid-season reviews of all 18 clubs and assessing the first half of the season and what fortunes may lie ahead.

Up next, Hawthorn.

Snapshot:

Hawthorn is firmly in rebuild territory. 17th on the ladder with only 2 wins, both wins single-digit margins in last gasp come from behind efforts.

What’s Worked:

Two young guns have become fast fan favourites for the Hawks. Changkuoth Jiath has gone to another level in defence, averaging 20 touches, six marks, and three rebound 50’s in 2021, solidifying himself as a player Hawthorn fans can be genuinely excited about.

Jacob Koschitzke, meanwhile, has earned Hawthorn’s first Rising Star nomination and averages a goal a game and four marks after breaking through as a forward.

What Hasn’t:

If it weren’t for some last gasp heroics, Hawthorn would be winless in 2021. Two wins by less than a goal surround an average losing margin of 30.3 points.

The Hawks show patches of competitiveness but are sorely missing experience in defence and the forward line. James Sicily has been moved to the long-term injury list while he continues to recover from an ACL and Jack Gunston has only played one game this year with a recurring back issue.

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Best and fairest contenders:

Jaeger O’Meara, the Hawthorn vice-captain, has had a great season to this point as Hawthorn’s number one midfielder. Averaging 26 disposals including 12 contested and six clearances which are career-best stats. Jarman Impey will also be in contention for his first Peter Crimmins Medal, averaging 22 touches. five marks and just under four rebound ’50s, also a career-best.

Who needs to lift?

Despite averaging 20 disposals a game, James Worpel is also ranked 15th in the competition for clangers with 48 for the year, averaging 4 a game. His stats have all regressed since his best and fairest year of 2019, and he will need to improve his composure for the rest of the season.

Expectations for 2nd half of the season:

With Hawthorn firmly in rebuild territory, it’s a holding pattern of playing the kids and continuing their development for the future. Wins from this stage will be unexpected, but not improbable, with continued improvement likely from here on out.

Prediction

17th

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