AFL Round 2 – Hawthorn v Geelong: Classy Cats Claw Their Way to Victory

By Sasha Lennon

Reigning premier Geelong now officially has ‘the wood’ over Hawthorn after a hard-fought nine point victory on Easter Monday.

In front of a crowd of almost 70,000 people at the MCG, Geelong clawed its way through four quarters to eventually wear down a tiring Hawthorn who, for a good part of the match, looked to be well in control.

With the return of Hawthorn superstars Lance Franklin, Cyril Rioli and Chance Bateman plus the form of Hawthorn’s midfield as demonstrated by its annihilation of Melbourne the previous week, I was tipping the Hawks to win this one in another close encounter.  (For the record, my tip was Hawthorn by 15 points).

When the Hawks burst out of the blocks in the opening quarter, I patted myself on the back for my astute tip, knowing that the Cats would hit back but the Hawks would maintain their intensity.  Cyril and Buddy looked good, both players having an early impact which complemented the proficiency of Sam Mitchell and the presence of Jarryd Roughead.

Hawthorn had slotted through four majors before the Cats got their first through Shannon Byrnes.  At quarter time, the Hawks led by 14 points.

The second quarter saw the brown and gold continue to control proceedings, aided by an inaccurate Geelong, the Cats kicking 1.7 which allowed the Hawks to maintain a healthy lead, by 24 points at half time.

When the third quarter started, it was Geelong that took the initiative early, illustrated by back-to-back goals to Cameron Mooney.

The Hawks maintained their intensity but as the afternoon wore on, the Cats wore down their opponent, and like any bona fide team of champions, it was evident that the Geelong players, without a hint of arrogance, simply expected to win.

And that’s the difference between capable sides like Hawthorn and better sides like Geelong.  The Cats, despite being at the top of the table for the good part of four years, still expect to win.

It is evident in the poise and skill of Garry Ablett and Jimmy Bartel, the tenacity of Cameron Ling, the freakish yet controlled ability of Steve Johnson and even the steely look of determination in the eyes of Cameron Mooney.

Just before the three-quarter time siren, Ottens slotted through a major to reduce the margin to just four points in Hawthorn’s favour.

At the beginning of the final term a Johnson snap from the boundary line put the Cats in front for the first time in the match.  Morton quickly answered with a goal for the Hawks and after Buddy kicked a booming goal from the boundary line, Hawthorn restored its lead to 12 points.

But that was not enough to deter a team of champions in a champion side.  A goal to Chapman saw the Cats hit the front with only minutes left and after Byrnes kicked truly, Geelong led by nine points, and that, as they say, was that.

The Cats have now won three of their last four encounters with the Hawks.  The last time Hawthorn defeated Geelong was in the 2008 Grand Final.  If Hawthorn can make it to September in 2010, my guess is that the Cats would relish the chance to avenge that most painful of losses.

Hawthorn: 13.13 (91) defeated by Geelong 14.16 (100)

Goals:

Hawthorn: Roughead 4, Franklin 2, Morton 2, Bateman, Hodge, Mitchell, Osborne, Rioli

Geelong: Mooney 4, Byrnes 3, Duncan 2, Chapman, Johnson, Ling, Ottens, Taylor

My Votes: Bartel (Geel) 3, Mitchell (Haw) 2, Ottens (Geel) 1

Comments

  1. Danielle says:

    Sasha, i was pretty cut the Hawks lost since i tipped them to beat the Cats.
    (I had a weird feeling it was going to be close and right i was!)
    Eventhough you can’t always count on a win, i know i can count on my SuperCoach Captain Sammy Mitchell!
    he really is the bomb! :)

    Danni

  2. Dani, for whatever reason, these two sides always make it a close one, which is not good for the nerves I must say. I reckon Mitchell is off to a flyer in the Brownlow race. Cheers,

    Sasha

  3. dave (from the west) says:

    given the current cats/hawks results
    its time the afl invoked the poor performers clause
    give the cup back to geelong where it belongs
    hawks didnt deserve to win on the day and past form confirms it

    then the recordss will show a threepete for the cats
    2010 makes it 4 in a row
    – im not getting ahead of myself but
    no other club has won 5 flags in row (im including 2011)

    go cats

  4. Richard E. Jones says:

    DANIELLE: Mitchell is just another little Squawk scrotum.
    Nothing in brown and puke is good. They are all execrable (look that up!)

    For the record, we have beaten these scrotes in all 3 rematches since the 2008 grannie. It must mean God is in Her heaven !!

    How can anyone hate Collingwood? Hawthorn is the one club you just have to despise. The jumper itself is disgraceful. And to have a prez like Jeff. Enough said.

  5. Danni, I liked your piece on Collingwood-Melbourne. Nothing wrong with a bit of biased passion I say. What’s with these bitter and twisted Cats supporters? After so many years in the wilderness, you think they’d be in a good mood. Perhaps they sense the end is near. Just enjoy the moment gents! Happy days.

  6. Danielle says:

    comment 4-
    Richard, maybe meeting Sam Mitchell might change your mind. I was lucky enough to meet Mitchell, C. Brown and Buddy from the Hawks. All of them were really nice blokes, ESPECIALLY Mitchell and Brown, those two are huggable!
    Plus Mitchell is not letting me down at all, I have no reason to say anything bad about him, he’s been playing in mint condition :)
    Who said anything about hating Collingwood? I GO FOR COLLINGWOOD! :)
    As for the jumper, I don’t think it looks that bad.

    comment 5-
    Thanks Sasha :)
    I still find it weird that I really cuddled a pair of tongs! That’s what Steele Sidebottom does to you! :)

  7. Dan Crane says:

    Dave from the West – where do i sign? still feeling ill about 08, and probably always will, just because ALPHA magazine says that the Brisbane Lions were the greatest team of the last decade doesn’t make it true….

  8. 1: Danni, if there’s one thing I’ve learnt from footy tipping, it’s always to trust girls’ weird feelings. In my family tipping competition at the moment, my aunt and my mum are first and 2nd respectively, while in the Herald Sun tipping in the paper, Jennifer Hawkins is on top.

    Good read Sasha. Mitch Duncan is looking like a good youngster.

  9. Frances Lennon says:

    I always enjoy reading your reports Sasha, you really do know how to call a match.
    Very imformative reading.
    Thank you!

  10. Matt Cowan says:

    Hi Sasha, I read with interest Luke Darcy’s most recent article on ruckmen in the AFL on the AFL website. He made some interesting points and I think it’s great that someone is prepared to “put a rocket up” some of the big blokes cruising around doing bugger all.

    As a “small man”, I get extremely frustrated at their inability, if I can call it that, to gather a clean possession and actually do something with the ball. Finally, however, we have someone in Nic Natanui (and Matthew Kreuzer) who, as Darcy says, will make opposition ruckmen sit up and take notice and realise that they are not doing enough as modern day big men.

    The thing that sets Natanui apart, however, is that he is endowed with oodles of natural ability that many of the ruckmen in the league going around at the moment just don’t have, and an energy and brashness to take on players who are more established in the game. So, unfortunately for the ones who are one dimensional (stoppage specialists), their time in the game, I think, is counting down.

    One last point on Darcy’s article, I thought that he pulled a punch when saying what he thinks about Will Minson’s game. Maybe he was being measured when commenting on his club’s current stock of ruckmen for fear of committing sedition, but his article would have been much “weightier” had he simply said that Will Minson is frigging useless.

    I look forward to your posts this Anzac Day weekend.

  11. Matt Cowan says:

    Hi Sasha, I read with interest Luke Darcy’s most recent article on ruckmen in the AFL on the AFL website. He made some interesting points and I think it’s great that someone is prepared to “put a rocket up” some of the big blokes cruising around doing bugger all.

    As a “small man”, I get extremely frustrated at their inability, if I can call it that, to gather a clean possession and actually do something with the ball. Finally, however, we have someone in Nic Natanui (and Matthew Kreuzer) who, as Darcy says, will make opposition ruckmen sit up and take notice and realise that they are not doing enough as modern day big men.

    The thing that sets Natanui apart, however, is that he is endowed with oodles of natural ability that many of the ruckmen in the league going around at the moment just don’t have, and an energy and brashness to take on players who are more established in the game. So, unfortunately for the ones who are one dimensional (stoppage specialists), their time in the game, I think, is counting down.

    One last point on Darcy’s article, I thought that he pulled a punch when saying what he thinks about Will Minson’s game. Maybe he was being measured when commenting on his club’s current stock of ruckmen for fear of committing sedition, but his article would have been much “weightier” had he simply said that Will Minson is frigging useless.

    I look forward to your posts this Anzac Day weekend.

    Go The Cats

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