SWFL 2022: Hawks and Tigers primed for epic showcase at Gloucester Park on Saturday

Headshot of Justin Fris
Justin FrisSouth Western Times
Augusta-Margaret River's Jacob Payne goes for a kick but is wrapped up by South Bunbury's Chris Atthowe earlier this season at Hands Oval.
Camera IconAugusta-Margaret River's Jacob Payne goes for a kick but is wrapped up by South Bunbury's Chris Atthowe earlier this season at Hands Oval. Credit: Carly Laden/South Western Times

Reigning premiers Augusta-Margaret River need little reminder of what happened last time they took on South Bunbury.

On a night where nothing went right no matter how hard they tried, the Hawks fell to a forgettable 35-point loss, which left them with no shortage of fire in their bellies.

Since then, Matt Jamieson’s side have begun to find their rhythm — something which will be needed in order to topple the Tigers in Saturday’s mouthwatering contest at Gloucester Park.

“I think this is the time of the year where you really want to be hitting your straps and getting your best team out on the park,” Jamieson said.

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“And I feel we are getting close to that.

“We are getting near another finals campaign again, which is going to require all players to play a role. So of course, we are looking forward to a big challenge in South Bunbury.

“They are the red-hot favourites to win it this year, so it is important to put up a good showing at home.”

An added bonus for the Hawks this season has been the ability to spread the responsibility of kicking a winning score each week.

While Harry Taylor (who kicked four goals last Sunday against the Harvey Bulls) and Tim Noakes remain vital cogs in the Hawks’ forward line, there has been no shortage of contributors to join them.

“We’ve had a good spread — there is about five or six guys who have probably kicked between 15 and 30 goals,” Jamieson said.

“It is a handy thing to have. Obviously Timmy’s (Noakes) availability has been quite limited due to work. However it is pleasing to have different avenues to goal, rather than relying on one or two.”

Tigers coach Julian Burgess is no stranger to big games, especially at Gloucester Park, where he famously coached Donnybrook to an elimination final win against the Hawks in 2019.

Ahead of the game, Burgess said he was excited to take on the reigning premiers and relished a chance to pit his coaching staff against Jamieson, who he believes is a good coach.

The Tigers will be without influential ruckman Tim Sutherland, who suffered a serious shoulder injury during last Saturday’s win over the Dons at Hands Oval.

Burgess is optimistic his star will be able to recover in time for the nitty gritty end of the campaign.

“We are hoping it will only be a couple of weeks,” he said. “He will be going to the physio on Thursday.”

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