AFL Round 1 – Hawthorn v Geelong: Jeffed again

Score a footy and Cats gear

Score a footy and Cats gear

The story so far:

1985-1992: Geelong cannot beat Hawthorn. It loses 11 on the trot in all manner of situations: conceding match-winning leads, just failing after great comebacks, losing in the dying seconds of a match. Hawthorn 14 wins, Geelong 2 wins.

1993-2007: Hawthorn is generally superior but the Cats do record some substantial victories. Hawthorn 14, Geelong 9.

2008-2012: Hawthorn inflict a comfortable 26-point Grand Final win on Geelong, the Cats’ second loss for the season. Hawthorn president Jeff Kennett infamously declares that Geelong lacks mental strength and so will never beat Hawthorn. Paul Chapman vows Geelong will never lose to the Hawks again while he is playing. Thereafter Hawthorn cannot beat Geelong, losing nine in a row. It loses in all manner of situations: conceding match-winning leads, just failing after great comebacks, losing in the dying seconds of a match. Geelong 10 wins, Hawthorn 1 win.

Now read on.

The first of April: April Fool’s Day. My thoughts drift to Jeff Kennett. I fear yet another cruel twist that will somehow deprive us of the win that breaks the Kennett Curse. The only way we haven’t lost since 2008 is being pinged for an unregistered player.

Despite The Curse, the omens are good: on the scoreboard pre-match the 1991 second semi-final between today’s clubs is being replayed. Geelong could have won that match in the final moments but a straightforward opportunity was missed. O my Platten and my Dermie long ago…  

Today the Hawks, glowing in their rich autumnal colours, are up and about: first to the ball, running, tackling, rendering the Cats tentative, fumbly and inaccurate in their insipid near-all white colours. Buddy Franklin, sporting the second-worst haircut ever seen at the club, looks fit and dangerous. Goals to Jordan Lewis, Luke Breust, Brent Guerra and David Hale are less than adequate reward for superior ball use. Youngster Brad Hill, who had a taste of the big time last season, is doing a better job than Albo of dancing between raindrops to find time and space where seemingly neither exist. Cyril Rioli is buzzing about, Buddy has kicked a couple and Joel Selwood is keeping Geelong in the match; not so well, however, as to deny the Hawks a 32-point lead in the shadows of half-time.

Then: two time-on goals against the run of play give the Cats the needle they need for the second half and sow the seeds of doubt in Hawthorn fans’ minds. Twenty points – it’s not enough! Not enough to beat The Curse!

Geelong emerges from the long break a team transformed. Selwood is everywhere and Chapman has suddenly remembered his solemn oath. The Hawks have all the mobility of witches’ hats around which the Cats move with ease bordering on brilliance. Rioli has disappeared from sight and Hill is subbed off, exhausted or injured, for debutant and father-to-be  Jed Anderson  The game is played mostly in the Geelong forward line for more than half the quarter until Shane Savage and a disappointing Jarryd Roughead goal either side of a booming 65-metre goal from Andrew Mackie. Mackie, Harry Taylor and Tom Lonergan, now with Franklin’s measure, stand out in a sturdy defence. Yet Hawthorn’s defence has also done well to keep the Cats, for all their possession, to just five goals. Sam Mitchell playing across half-back, Grant Birchall, Ryan Schoenmakers and Josh Gibson are little behind their Geelong counterparts. And so the Cats edge to a two-point lead going into the last quarter. It could be a lot worse.

Goals in the opening minutes to Christensen and Podsiadly followed by one to Duncan give the Cats a seemingly winning lead. But these games always seem to have final surprises – usually involving the Kennett Curse, Jimmy Bartel and a Geelong win. The Hawks have not given up; Breust and Savage bring the margin back to eight points with a couple of minutes to play and with just under a minute to go Breust has a set shot from 25 metres. If he slots it there is just time for one last surge and an unlikely win. But deep down we all know the script. Of course Breust misses.

Jeffed again.

Frankly, the seven-point defeat flattered the Hawks. As in the Grand Final, they were not good enough for long enough.

Post-match Kennett declares that Alastair Clarkson has to go; he’s been around too long. Most ignorant people try to cover their lack of knowledge; Kennett flaunts it. He has broken two basic rules of sport: in 2008 he commented adversely on another club and now he says publicly what, if it needs to be said, should be said privately. Arrogance and ignorance; very unHawthorn.  To be fair to Jeff, he subsequently apologises to Clarko and even tries to undo The Curse: he has always “been in awe” of Chapman. But words won’t do it, Jeff. Human sacrifice is the only expiation.

Hawthorn                      4.3     8.9     10.10     12.14     (86)

Geelong                         1.5     5.7     10.12     13.15     (93)

GOALS            Geelong:       Smedts, Podsiadly, Duncan, Hawkins 2, Christensen, Mackie, Selwood, Chapman, Varcoe.

Hawthorn:    Breust, Franklin, Savage 2, Guerra, Rioli, Hale, Smith, Lewis, Roughead.

BEST               Geelong:        Selwood, Chapman, Varcoe, Taylor, Mackie, T. Hunt, Duncan, Smedts, Lonergan

Hawthorn:    Mitchell, Schoenmakers, Bailey, Sewell, Birchall, Burgoyne, Puopolo.

UMPIRES        Stevic, Stewart, Nicholls.                                                                                                         CROWD  76,300

OUR VOTES    Selwood (G) 3, Chapman (G) 2, Mitchell (H) 1.

        

Comments

  1. Rick Kane says:

    Excellent article, let me count the ways:

    1. The article begins with the timely heading, The story so far. – History, thank the heavens for history’s stark and unemotional memory. Or, as Mr Springsteen would say, one day we’ll look back on this and it will all seem funny.

    2. “The only way we haven’t lost since 2008 is being pinged for an unregistered player” – The coven controlling this spell surely has this dried and twisted root of pig skin swirling around in the cauldron of catastrophe.

    3. “fumbly” – wordsmiths of all ages and persuasions take note, the art of articulation (def: 1.The action of putting into words an idea or feeling of a specified type) is to hide the art.

    4. “Youngster Brad Hill, who had a taste of the big time last season, is doing a better job than Albo of dancing between raindrops to find time and space where seemingly neither exist” – it speaks for itself.

    5. “Yet Hawthorn’s defence has also done well to keep the Cats, for all their possession, to just five goals” – it’s important because it’s true.

    6. “Most ignorant people try to cover their lack of knowledge; Kennett flaunts it” – Fuunier than if an anvil fell on Kennett’s head one beat after he uttered such an airing dirty laundry thought.

    7. “But words won’t do it, Jeff. Human sacrifice is the only expiation” – Bang on.

    Thank you Mr Carroll for an expansive and considered review.

    Cheers

  2. Mark Seja says:

    I guess that Hawthorn just had a “Kennett of a day”.

  3. Cracker, Mr Carroll – love the human sacrifice line!

  4. KC Beautiful as would be expected. Nonetheless I believe the relevance of “father-to-be hood” is still irrelevant in the story of our game. Haircuts just make it.

  5. Paul Daffey says:

    Excellent, Kevan.

    I liked the mention of Jimmy Bartel being there when it counted.

    He just seems to emerge from the pampas just when he’s needed.

    On another matter, I have a ripper potential launcher for Footy Town and I need to avail myself of your many connections.

    I’ll be in touch.

  6. Neil Belford says:

    Until the Hawkins goal I was a bit bored with the self absorbed Hawks – Cats blah blah blah. This result has really turned up the heat – I cant wait for the next edition. It could involve a player count…

    Cracker of a story Mr Carroll.

  7. Watching Fox Footy channel last night, and it was mentioned Geelong has lost the week after beating Hawthorn in this run of 10. I can’t recall; is this accurate?

    Glen!

  8. Steve Fahey says:

    A great read Kevan. As a Pie, I try to get to all of these Hawks vc. Cats clashes as they are the best footy all year outside of the odd great final, such as last year’s GF and Hawks/Adelaide PF. Monday was another ripper.

    As a psychologist I love wondering how the Hawks prepare for these games and deal with the curse. It clearly plays on them just as the 1970 GF clearly haunted Pies teams of the 1970s and early 1980s.

    Rick’s highlighted points are nuggets of gold esp re J Kennett.

  9. K Carroll, entertaining as always. Who is numero uno in the history of bad Hawthorn haircuts?

  10. Great read Kevan with an informative back-story.

    I think Jeff was good for the Hawks while President but I wish he’d just go away now.

    JTH, on haircuts, I thought Ryan Schoenmakers did a very good impersonation of Paul Hudson circa 1991.

  11. As an older person i can go back to the 1970’s. In 1970 Geelong won both encounters, from there it was pretty much one way traffic.. Geelong winning once each in 1973, 1974, 1976 , all @ Kardinia Park.Hawthorn dominating them in the 1970’s.

    The 1980’s started well for Geelong, winning all the clashes in 1980-81. Geelong won once a years again in 1983, 1984 & 1985. 1985 saw a Round one victory @ VFL Park, with Mark Jackson, and Gary Ablett both having a big influence on the result. For the rest of the decade Hawthorn owned them.

    1991 saw the Cats break the nexus, winning at Princess Park on Queens Birthday Monday. This match was the match in which Gary Ablett returned from his temporary retirement, though he played in the magoos. Mark Bairstow played a top game, kicking a huge, torpedoed goal to the city end in the second term. This was i think Dippa’s last senior game.

    Glen!

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