AFL Round 16 – Port Adelaide v Hawthorn: Half a world away

Port Adelaide versus Hawthorn
2.40pm, Saturday, 13 July
AAMI Stadium

Tim Ivins

At 4.30am the alarm doesn’t just ring, it screams at you as you roll over desperately searching for the button that will silence its endless reverie.  You descend the stairs in a zombie like search for coffee and flop onto the couch as you slowly blink into consciousness. It’s a scene that’s being repeated all over Australia as lights and televisions are switched on. Yes, the Ashes are being played in England once again.

Trent Bridge for me though is not half a world away, but 175 kilometres and play will commence in 6 hours. The above routine is one that I am sharing with everyone at home. The difference is that I am following the Hawks rather than exploits of the boys in the Baggy Green.

The form for both teams coming in was similar, both teams were backing up from a loss the week before, Port against a very good Essendon team and the Hawks in their bi-annual loss to the Cats. The Hawks come into the game as favourites, but Port at home are a difficult proposition.

There is a notable absence from the Hawthorn teamsheet. Buddy Franklin is injured and given his contract talks are ongoing, this is something that perhaps Hawks fans will have to get used. Luckily we have the perfect replacement already there, with Jaryd Roughead and the effect is instantaneous with Roughy slotting the first from the pocket.

Ebert is sloppy early missing two early opportunities with Port mixing the sublime with the ridiculous, butchering an opportunity in the goal square after a wonderful lead up. The Hawks are clean inside 50 where Port are not. Sloppiness costs the Power goals and the Hawks jump to an early 5 goal lead.

In the second quarter the Power are immediately better. Robbie Gray is in everything and kicks an extraordinary goal, misses a gimme and then immediately creates another has the Power kick five straight to draw within a goal. The Power have cut down the Hawks run through the midfield and look the better team, but Roughead steps up again providing the steadier and another Hawks on the Half time siren lifts my spirits. After all the Power’s hard work, the Hawks take a 2 goal lead at the break.

Port have arguably been the better team, but the Hawks have been more clinical. The Power have created their own goals whilst the Hawks have feasted on Power turnovers. The old cliché that the third quarter is the Premiership quarter rings true as the Hawks pile on the pressure and expose the gap between the two clubs. Some quick hands see the Hawks forwards nail some tight handpasses to goal and a bit of aggression sees the Hawks lift a gear. The defence cause a Power failure when they stop a two man break inside 50 and the Hawks kick 6 to go into the 3 quarter time break with a big lead.

As the sunrises in London, glowing over the Olympic Park as I look out my window, this match has reinforced my belief that the best thing that could happen for the Hawks is that Buddy leaves for greener pastures. The forward line has a better balance without Buddy’s dominating presence and there seem to be more goalkicking options. Roughead and Gunston kicked 5 today and Gunston. With support support from Savage and Issac Smith. I am left with the feeling that being Buddy-centric does more harm than good to the team.

The frying pan sizzles as the eggs are fried, the toaster pops and the kettle whistles as the final quarter runs to its conclusion in the background. The Hawks have won and all is well. Breakfast is served as I play the waiting game for the first ball at Trent Bridge. A few hours from now those of you at home will settle in with a cup of tea in the darkness as the rain pours outside; watching images of a sun-bathed England. For those of you, who are truly committed to a full days play, I’ll be thinking of you when the alarm starts its endless reverie to wake you for the final session.

PORT ADELAIDE      2.2   8.4    10.5 12.7 (79)

HAWTHORN       6.0   10.4      16.6   19.10   (124)

GOALS
Port Adelaide:
Monfries, Neade 2, Butcher, Schulz, Gray, Thomas, Ebert, Wingard, Boak, Cornes
Hawthorn: Gunston, Roughead 5, Savage, Smith 3, Lewis, Rioli, Hodge

BEST
Port Adelaide:
Boak, Ebert, O’Shea, Gray
Hawthorn: Roughead, Smith, Hodge, Savage, Gunston, Breust

Official crowd: 23,748

Umpires: Dalgleish, Nicholls, Merideth

Our Votes: 3 Roughead (H), 2 Smith (H), 1 Hodge (H)

 

 

Comments

  1. Rick Kane says:

    Hi Tim

    Great report, with a couple of points of difference.

    1. As good as our forward line is, the thing that makes it the best going around is Buddy. Roughy is having a sensational year. Buddy has given us 6 sensational years in a row. I, for one, would like him to play out his career in Brown and Gold.

    2. In the Eastern States cricket gets going at 7.30pm and goes through until about 3am. Which, for me, has been a perfect night in (except as an Aussie supporter it’s been a nightmare).

    Cheers

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