THE call that came from the coaches’ box to swing defender Jack Henry forward after half time proved to be a match-winner for the Cats.
The stunning end-to-end Jordan Clark goal that put the final nail in the Hawthorn coffin wouldn’t have occurred if the Cats hadn’t pulled the lever to swing Henry forward.
The Cats forward situation was dire at half time with an ankle injury to second-gamer Franics Evans compounding the existing absences of Gary Rohan, Patrick Dangerfield and Jeremy Cameron.
Forward coach Corey Enright says Henry offered the perfect option to add some height ahead of the ball.
“We just thought that he’d be able to help us structure up and win the ball and keep the ball up in our front half which he showed great capabilities of doing,” Enright says.
“He has the capabilities of being able to switch him when we need to, so we have used him in the past and he’s done it with great success.
“It’s a nice lever to be able to pull in games if we need it and if required."
When there’s give there’s always take and the Cats had to cover the loss of Henry from the back half to make the move possible.
“If you’re pulling from one area you need to send something the other way,” Enright says.
"We used Mitch Duncan at times and Zach Tuohy as well (in defence after the change).
"We’ve got some players that can play multiple positions which helps. Just having the ability to throw a few things around if the game needs it, our players are quite flexible and adaptable which really helps with that."
With the Cats clinging to an 11-point lead with seven minutes on the clock, it was Henry’s interception of a Dan Howe switch that put the margin beyond reach.
“His athleticism and ability to stay in a contest is what’s really important and is obviously highlighted by that interception and fantastic goal from Clarky,” Enright says.
“It was great to see, even watching the vision back it was fantastic to see particularly Clarky and Jack show off some of their athletics past and their ability to run and take the game on.
“Obviously Hawk was involved there as well and he probably used his footy smarts rather than his athleticism.
“It was a super play and a really important one in that part of the game so it gave us a huge lift and it was nice to watch.”