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Hawks aim to starve Crows attack
Roger Vaughan
12:28 AEST Fri Sep 21 2012

Hawthorn coach Alastair Clarkson says the best way to combat Adelaide star Taylor Walker in Saturday's AFL preliminary final is to cut off his supply.

Walker was the difference in last week's semi-final win over Fremantle with five goals.

Clarkson says Walker, Kurt Tippett and Jason Porplyzia will all be dangerous in the twilight final at the MCG, but added the Hawks' priority will be to dominate the midfield and starve the Crows of inside 50s.

"He was terrific last week, Taylor Walker, he's certainly one who has to be watched," Clarkson said before Friday's training.

"But Tippett is a very, very damaging player and Porplyzia is very handy as well.

"The best thing we can do to defend that is to not allow the ball in there in the first place."

Several hundred Hawthorn fans were at Waverley on Thursday morning to watch their team go through a light training session in dreary conditions.

The Hawks will welcome back star midfielder Jordan Lewis and utility Clinton Young, who missed the qualifying final win over Collingwood because of injury.

"They've been important parts of our mix, they've been consistent players for us throughout the course of the year and played the majority of games," Clarkson said.

"In terms of the structures and processes we have, in terms of the way we want to play, they've been pivotal to that.

"We're happy they're available to play."

The Hawks are hot favourites to beat Adelaide and reach their first grand final since the 2008 premiership.

Crows coach Brenton Sanderson said this week that Hawthorn will have to be off their game for his side to have a chance, but Clarkson was not interested in any talk from across the border.

"We've been really pleased with our preparation and that's all we can control," Clarkson said.

"We're not into responding to comments and that sort of stuff, it's just about the processes we put into place over the course of the season.

"What we do know is (our) last two home-and-aways ... and the qualifying final were great preparation for finals footy and in particular a prelim final.

"Despite odds and favouritism and all that sort of stuff, we know the scoreboard is going to say 0-0 at the start."


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