HAWTHORN have held off a young Swans outfit in their Round 1 NAB Cup match at Aurora Stadium in Tasmania.

With most of their senior players missing, the Swans managed to stay with the more experience Hawks only to go down by 2 points. The young Swans kicked more goals than the Hawks, but three supergoals from the home side help them get across the line. Some poor kicking in front of goal from Buddy Franklin allowed the Swans to stay in the match and almost clinch victory.

The Swans fielded 12 first game players and 7 other rookies, but it was the experience Ben Mathews who kicked the first goal for Sydney after 9 minutes of play. Some undiscipline play from Ed Barlow gave Jarryd Morton a 50 metre penalty and allowed him to kick a supergoal and give the Hawthorn a 4 point lead at quarter time.

After O’Dwyer goaled early in the second quarter from some good roving by Jude Bolton, the Hawks hit back with supergoal to Gary Moss, again coming from a 50 metre penalty. When Shane Crawford waltzed in to kick Hawthorn first 6 pointer Hawthorn looked like they might get on top of the young Swans, but to their credit Sydney stemmed the flow and quick goals to Nick Davis and Craig Bird gave them a 2 point lead at half time.

Some young players for both sides pushed for home and away selection impressing around the ground. Travis Tuck and Beau Muston saw plenty of the footy in the first half, while tagger Craig Bird and Daniel O’Keefe look promising for the Swans.

The third quarter followed a similar pattern to the second with Hawthorn kicking away early. After a second goal to Jarryd Morton, Swan midfielder Nick Malceski went down clutching his knee in an attempt to change direction. The runner up best and fairest may have suffered injured to his ACL, which could potentially put him out for season. It was shattering news for Swans fans and the side seemed to miss his run for the rest of the match.

The Hawks went into the final quarter with a 5 point lead and had two early chances goal but struggled with the wind. Lance Franklin kicked his 4th behind for the day and Chance Bateman’s set shot from 50 swung late with the strong breeze and just missed. Some poor defending from Hawthorn allowed Jude Bolton to mark at the top of the square and a 50 metre penalty made sure of the goal and put Sydney within a point. The Hawks managed to hang on at the death despite being held goaless in the last quarter.

Hawthorn will play Carlton at the Telstra Dome next weekend.

Hawthorn – 1.0.3 – 2.1.4 – 3.2.9 – 3.2.13 (52)
Sydney – 0.1.2 – 0.4.6 – 0.6.7 – 0.7.8 (50)

Hawthorn: Nine-point goals: Birchall, Morton, Moss. Goals: Crawford, Morton
Sydney: Nine-point goals: Nil. Goals: Beckmans, Bolton, Bird, Davis, Mathews, Moore, O’Dwyer

Birchall, Murphy, Muston, Ellis, Hodge, Murphy, Taylor
Sydney: Mattner, Buchanan, Roberts-Thomson, McVeigh, Bird, Jack

Umpires: S Meredith, S McBurney, S Stewart
Crowd: 15,000 est at Aurora Stadium