Second flag would mean more to Rioli

Sportal September 23, 2012, 5:22 pm
Cyril Rioli

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Hawthorn livewire Cyril Rioli says a win over Sydney in next week's grand final would mean more than their breakthrough flag in 2008 due to the pain of last year's preliminary final loss to Collingwood.

The Hawks made hard work of Saturday night's five-point win over Adelaide, despite managing 26 more inside 50s and 10 more scoring shots.

Few expected Hawthorn to topple the great Geelong side of 2008, when Rioli's scintillating cameos helped cause a huge upset.

A premiership player in his first season of AFL, Rioli admitted last year's agonising loss to the Pies would make a win on Saturday far more satisfying than the surprise triumph in 2008.

"I've felt the pain of losing finals, certainly the prelim last year," Rioli said.

"The hunger from last year, that has really helped us. The hurt last year really hit me.

"This time (2012) around it's a lot different (to 2008), it's going to certainly mean a lot more to me if we get over the line.

"To be in this year's grand final, hopefully we can get over the line and I'll be a lot happier."

Rioli played a starring role in the closing stages playing deep in the forward line against Adelaide, scoring a goal to put his side back in front and setting up Lance Franklin for the sealer.

"I was pretty fatigued in that last 10 minutes. I'm just happy that we got across the line," he said.

"It was good to get deep and make that contribution that I did.

"I was happy with it, normally it's Buddy who's kicking the goals but I was happy with what I did and kicked a goal and set up a couple."

The Hawks went into battle without captain Luke Hodge, who missed the Crows clash through illness, but Hawks spearhead Lance Franklin expects him to play against the Swans.

"He's got the bug. He's not in this morning, but he'll be fine," Franklin said on Sunday.

"I don't think anyone would want to miss a Grand Final so Hodgey will get himself right and get himself up for this weekend.

"It's lucky we were able to get over the line for him because I think he would have been a little bit disappointed to miss out."

After missing a host of goal scoring opportunities, particularly in the first half, Franklin warned his team-mates they would have to produce a far more clinical performance to get over the line against the Swans.

"This week we need to take our opportunities when we can, otherwise it could cost us," Franklin said after kicking 3.5 himself.

"I obviously just didn't kick as straight as I would have liked to.

"We just need to take those opportunities.

With Hodge to return and the less likely prospect of defender Brent Guerra (hamstring) also being recalled, two unlucky Hawks could miss out.

"I hope (Guerra returns). He'll train this week and he's been really training hard the last couple of weeks to get himself up for this game, so it's a hard decision, we'll just leave that to the coaching staff," Franklin said.

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1 Comments

  1. SIR AMENHOTEP III09:03pm Sunday 23rd September 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    I hope you are disappointed you little dropkick.

    Reply
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