Cyril Rioli at Tuesday’s training session at Waverley Park. Picture: GETTY IMAGESAUSTRALIAN FOOTBALL
IfHawthorn’s Cyril Rioli gets a game in Saturday’s AFL grand final, he won’t be under pressure to win the match off his left boot.
Rioli’s dual-premiership teammate Sam Mitchell says the small forward, who suffered a hamstring injury in June and made his comeback in the VFL last weekend, just needs to play his role.
“It’s not about absolutely firing,” Mitchell said on Tuesday.
“For Cyril, it’s not about getting best on ground or kicking five goals or setting up five goals.
“It’s about whether or not we think he can play his role.
“That’s the decision and I’m very, very thankful it’s not mine because it would be very difficult to leave Cyril out of a grand final.”
Mitchell says 2012 All-Australian Rioli would be prepared to sacrifice his own personal glory for the team if he felt he wasn’t fully fit to take on the Swans at the MCG.
Rioli was rested at three-quarter time in last week’s VFL grand final between Box Hill Hawks and Footscray.
“It’s going to come down to an honest conversation,” Mitchell said.
“Cyril, for anyone that knows him, would be the first to put his hand up and say ‘I’m not ready’.
“If he says he is, there’s a decision to make for the match committee, and if he can play his role to a level that’s better than whoever he replaces, he plays.”
Ruckman Ben McEvoy and veteran onballer Brad Sewell are also pushing for recalls to the senior side.
“You look at Ben McEvoy and he’s played four best on grounds in a row in the VFL and still hasn’t had a look in,” Mitchell said.
“In any squad there’s real depth if you get this far. It’s not like 22 players get you to a grand final.
“We had 18 players get a vote in the Brownlow last night, which was by far the most.
“We have very good depth in our squad and there’s going to be a sad story for someone on the weekend.”
Mitchell said the Hawks were blown away by Sydney’s 71-point win in their preliminary final against North Melbourne.
“We all watched Sydney on Friday night and thought ‘wow’,” Mitchell said.
“We’re underdogs as far as everyone thinks, and that’s probably rightly so. They deserve to be the favourites.”
Former skipper Mitchell says it’s fitting that current captain Luke Hodge will reach a milestone on Saturday by playing his 250th game.
Mitchell said Hodge’s match-winning smother off the boot of Port Adelaide’s Brad Ebert in the last minute of Hawthorn’s three-point win last weekend was typical of Hodge.
“In finals, sometimes composure is what makes all the difference,” Mitchell said. AAP
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.