The Northern Territory news Mon 29 Aug 2016
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18 SPORT MONDAY AUGUST 29 2016 NTNE01Z01MA - V1 to clutch goals from James Sicily, Billy Hartung and Shaun Burgoyne, only for Collingwood to rally again. Rioli and Breust booted a combined six goals but their pressure as defensive forwards was just as influential, while Hartung and Burgoyne were among a handful of Hawks to lift after halftime. Coach Alastair Clarkson will be relieved his team finished in the top four as history suggests their title hopes would have been dashed. Josh Gibson could be scrutinised for a clumsy spoil on Greenwood in the second quarter but AFL legend Wayne Carey expected the Hawks defender would be cleared. Thats no worse than Rory Sloane (who was suspended last week) but Greenwoods got no claret and thats what saves Gibson. I think hes fine, Carey said on radio. 112HAWKS2.4 7.7 13.8 17.10 111MAGPIES4.2 9.6 11.8 17.9 GOALS Hawthorn: C Rioli 3 L Breust 3 B Hartung 2 J Fitzpatrick 2 S Burgoyne 2 J Gunston J Lewis J Sicily L Hodge P Puopolo Collingwood: B Crocker 3 A Treloar 2 J Blair 2 J de Goey 2 J White 2 L Greenwood 2 T Cloke 2 B Grundy T Goldsack BEST Hawthorn: S Burgoyne C Rioli J Lewis S Mitchell L Hodge L Breust Collingwood: A Treloar S Sidebottom B Grundy S Pendlebury J Blair L Greenwood UMPIRES R Chamberlain, L Farmer, J Bannister CROWD 52,968 at the MCG Eagles repay the faith WEST Coast coach Adam Simpson says a catalyst for his sides form reversal this year was stepping away and letting the players execute. The Eagles struck form after the mid-season bye, winning nine of their past 10 to secure a home elimination final against Western Bulldogs. A sloppy start to the year ultimately cost the Eagles a top-four spot, but Simpson is adamant his side will benefit from experience in finals. Weve got a lot of confi dence in what we do and how we play and we are building with that, Simpson said. We wont be thinking we cant win it if we dont finish in the top four. We have gone past that. It hasnt been great or pretty footy, but I think some of the wins weve had where weve just found a way have really helped us get a bit more grit. Prestia aims for home GOLD Coast is set to lose another star midfielder after Dion Prestia officially signalled his intent to move back to Melbourne. Prestia is the second Sun this week to seek a move after Jaeger OMeara announced he wanted out. The young midfielder revealed his plans on his Facebook page, saying he wanted the Suns to be compensated adequately for his departure. Prestia has played 95 games for Gold Coast but has been cut down by injury in recent years playing eight games in 2015 and 14 this season. Its with a heavy heart that I inform you that it is my intention to return home to Melbourne during the trade period, he said. The Suns have been firm in their stand on players wanting out and will demand a high price for Prestia and OMeara. Loss fails to deter Crows KYLE Cheney says it would be crazy to write Adelaide off as a premiership contender after one disappointing game. While the Crows flag hopes have taken a massive hit after their shock Round 23 home loss to West Coast, defender Cheney says the club is confident it can still cause some serious September damage. It shouldnt be forgotten that we have won 16 games this year, Cheney said. We were really disappointed with our performance against West Coast but weve played some super footy throughout the year and know that our best is good enough to beat any team. Cheney, however, lamented a wasted opportunity to sew up a top-two finals spot and the golden ticket to a grand final that comes with playing all finals at home before the premiership decider. HAWTHORN yesterday reclaimed their spot in the AFLs top four with a thrilling onepoint win over Collingwood at the MCG. The Hawks, chasing a fourth straight premiership, needed to win or draw their final game of the regular season to secure a coveted double chance in the finals. They ticked it off in dramatic fashion and will now face rivals Geelong in a qualifying final, having beaten the Magpies 17.10 (112) to 17.9 (111). Collingwood, who were a man down in the second half following James Aishs hamstring injury, booted four consecutive goals to hit the front with a tick under three minutes remaining. Jack Fitzpatrick, called into the Hawks side following ruckman Jon Ceglars seasonending knee injury, was the unlikely hero. Fitzpatrick burst through the middle and unloaded a bomb from over 55 metres out to level the scores. A behind from Paul Puopolo then put them in front and the Magpies ran out of time. It was the sixth time this year Hawthorn have won by nine points or less. The Hawks trailed by 16 points in the second quarter and were outplayed for much of the contest. Small forwards Cyril Rioli and Luke Breust led a spirited comeback and a snapped goal from veteran Jordan Lewis gave Hawthorn a 12-point buffer at three-quarter time. The Magpies continued to fight in front of a crowd of 52,968, levelling the scores early in the fourth term. The Hawks steadied thanks Josh Gibson with a late spoil on Levi Greenwood yesterday that may come under scrutiny. Inset: Pies coach Nathan Buckley addressing his players after the match at the MCG Pictures: WAYNE LUDBEY Hawks pinch another win to land in top four ROB FORSAITH Focus on finals but Bartel no sure thing GEELONG champion Jimmy Bartel admits his future is uncertain heading into the finals series. Bartel, 32, has yet to commit for next year despite hitting a trigger in his contract allowing him to play on in 2017. It presents a situation where 2007 Brownlow medallist Bartel could bow out, along with evergreen Corey Enright, if their pursuit for a fourth premiership was successful. Geelong games-record holder Enright put his contract talks on hold last month to focus on the Cats premiership push. Ive stated every time someones asked me, (I want to) just play this year, play some finals and lets have a serious talk about it at the end of the year and I dont think anyones changed, Bartel said. Weve got finals, were in a good position and were just thinking about that at the moment. Bartel wound back the clock kicking three goals in potentially his last game at Kardinia Park as Geelong clinched second-spot on the ladder with its 111-point demolition of Melbourne. Bartel has struggled to find consistency in the second half of the year, rested twice in the past six weeks for interstate trips to Perth and Brisbane. Josh Caddy is Geelongs preferred option in the high half forward role, while the emergence of goalkicking midfielder Sam Menegola highlights the Cats depth. Shane Kersten, Nakia Cockatoo and Darcy Lang played VFL yesterday. HIGH HOPES WATSON WILL RETURN ESSENDON coach John Worsfold suspects banned skipper Jobe Watson will return for the 2017 AFL season. Watson, who fell out of love with the game during the Bombers supplements saga, was one of 12 players at the club to serve a season-long doping ban this year. If Tayte Pears opts to retire and pursue his ambition to become a firefighter as expected, it leaves Watson as the only undecided member of that group. Worsfold reiterated he didnt want to rush Watson, 31, and was upbeat the midfielder would sign up for next year. My guess is he wants to play on next year but he has to make absolutely sure thats what is in his heart, Worsfold said. HAWTHORN V COLLINGWOOD AFL PREMIERSHIP ROUND 23 P W L D % Pts Sydney 22 17 5 - 151.2 68 Geelong 22 17 5 - 143.8 68 Hawthorn 22 17 5 - 118.6 68 GWS 22 16 6 - 143.1 64 Adelaide 22 16 6 - 138.3 64 West Coast 22 16 6 - 130.0 64 Bulldogs 22 15 7 - 115.4 60 Nth Melb 22 12 10 - 105.2 48 St Kilda 22 12 10 - 95.7 48 Port Adelaide 22 10 12 - 106.0 40 Melbourne 22 10 12 - 97.6 40 Collingwood 22 9 13 - 95.6 36 Richmond 22 8 14 - 79.5 32 Carlton 22 7 15 - 79.3 28 Gold Coast 22 6 16 - 78.2 24 Fremantle 22 4 18 - 74.3 16 Brisbane 22 3 19 - 61.6 12 Essendon 22 3 19 - 61.0 12 LUCKY HAWKS? Round 3: Hawthorn 14.9 (93) d Western Bulldogs 13.12 (90) Round 4: Hawthorn 13.9 (87) d St Kilda 13.6 (84) Round 5: Hawthorn 17.10 (112) d Adelaide 17.7 (109) Round 13: Hawthorn 14.9 (93) d North Melbourne 11.18 (84) Round 17: Hawthorn 11.9 (75) d Sydney 10.10 (70) Round 23: Hawthorn 17.10 (112) d Collingwood 17.9 (111)