Sea Eagles' coach Luke Sommerville celebrates after victory in the grand final.
Sea Eagles' coach Luke Sommerville celebrates after victory in the grand final. Troy Kippen

GALLERY: Sea Eagles fly higher than Hawks in AFL grand final

AT THE long break in the AFL Mackay grand final, Mackay City Hawks coach Owen Battersby emptied out the shed of supporters to talk to his team.

They were trailing in the game after Whitsunday Sea Eagles played an almost perfect first half winning the ball from the middle and running strong down the boundary with clean hands.

And although Sea Eagles won the flag, when Battersby took the boys into the shed there was a shift in Hawks' favour.

The Hawks had only managed one behind in the second quarter and were trailing 8.6 (54) to 3.2 (20).

While the Sea Eagles were punishing inside 50 scoring six goals without a single behind in the first quarter.

The Hawks were chasing the tails of the Sea Eagles for most of the first half and at the long break there was plenty of work to do.

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And it started with a stern and frank talk in the sheds away from distraction.

Whatever was said in the shed, worked for the Hawks in the second half.

The clean flowing football in the first half changed into a tight scramble; the perfect football for the hardened and experienced Hawks.

Sea Eagles were still dominating at the stoppages, but the pressure from the Hawks was leading to more turnovers and inaccurate kicking.

At the end of the third quarter the Sea Eagles were still well ahead but were unable to push home the advantage with the Hawks outscoring Whitsunday in the third, 10.13 (73) to 6.4 (40).

The Sea Eagles could have put it away but the pressure from Mackay lead to inaccurate kicking.

At the final break the Hawks still work to do but six goals was within shot and the team lifted another level.

It was only after a goal Whitsundays from with five minutes to go from Gavin Miller that the final result, 12.17 (89) to 10.6 (65), was sealed.


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