AFL Round 9: Hawks do enough

by Steve Healy

This game was never going to be a blockbuster. But how can a game be a blockbuster when it is played in a Sunday twilight timeslot?

I hopped on the train at an unfamiliar time in the afternoon for the second time in five weeks. Luckily, it wasn’t a Demons home game so we wouldn’t be blamed for embarrassing crowd numbers. However, I still wasn’t expecting all of the 30,855 members to turn up.

On the train were a few Hawthorn families as well as the odd couple standing up, proudly showing the consecutive number of years they have been a member on their scarf. I had St.Kilda V Brisbane in my ear so I didn’t have to hear what they were raving on about. I stormed off the train and made my way to the ground.

I ran up the escalator to get some good seats. Seats 1 and 2, Q49, Olympic Stand, Row C weren’t taken. Thank god for that. These are the best general admission seats in the stadium. The 1988 Grand Final was on the screen, the game where Melbourne got thrashed by 96 points and Jim Stynes’ number was peeling off. The Dees came out to warm up, and I observed the team to see whether there were any changes. Nup, don’t think so. It would be a bit easier if Melbourne had numbers on their training tops.

The game started off in a familiar style. I took note that the last 5 games, Melbourne hadn’t scored first, and in four of them, they had scores kicked against them in the first few seconds. The ball was locked in Melbourne’s forward 50 for the opening few minutes, before Chance Bateman kicked a goal on the run from outside 50. Franklin kicked a half decent one and a Melbourne thrashing could have been feasible. Frawley and Rivers had already been tried on Franklin, but Rivers stuck on him throughout most of the game. Robbo kicked our first goal and all seemed ok, but in a blink of an eye Franklin had three goals and the Hawks were five straight to 1.2. This was the pattern for nearly the entire first half, the Hawks holding a dominant lead and the Demons hanging by a thread. A shocking Russell Robertson act in the second quarter made the low amount of Demons fans steam. Robbo took a screamer in the goal square, and then tried to kick the goal while lying on the ground. Robbo missed the ball completely, and the Hawks cleared out of defence and took it up their end and got a goal. At half time the score was 11.7 73 to 4.6 30 and Roughead and Buddy had seven goals between them.

The second half started off horribly, with quick goals in succession from Guerra and Williams. Colin Sylvia turned that around quickly, with a lazy three quick goals to bring the Demon crowd to life. Sylvia was playing the game of his career, but unfortunately his teammates weren’t. Except maybe James “junior” McDonald who had found an extra element of hardness in his game that hadn’t been there recently for the Captain. The margin was out to 47 at three quarter time but Melbourne had done well to string a few goals back.

The last quarter was a bad spectacle, but Stefan Martin (who had been playing forward for most of the game) kicked his first goal in 16 games. Beau Muston kicked a great goal for the Hawks as a quick reply. Muston had played a good debut game and he had a bad history with injuries, with three knee reconstructions in three and a half seasons at the club. Martin kicked his second with a great snap and the Dees were starting to roll. It was something that wasn’t unfamiliar, a spirited last quarter effort from the Demons. The gap was only 29 points when James McDonald kicked a well-earned goal but the Hawks grinded the game to a halt. The Hawks played kick to kick for around eight minutes; Guerra, Whitecross and Campbell Brown were doing most of it. It made me mad but it made the Hawks supporters even madder. It turned into a bit of a verbal fight between some Hawthorn supporters and a Melbourne supporter. It was fun to hear. Colin Sylvia kicked his fourth on the siren to draw it back to 22 points. The Hawthorn theme song blared out on the speaker, but not too many Hawthorn supporters were happy due to the last quarter effort. I wasn’t too happy with the Dees’ performance today; they threw away the game in the first half. I left the ground, still thinking that a win wasn’t far away.

Hawthorn  6.2  11.7 16.9 17.12 (114)

Melbourne 2.5  4.6  8.10  13.14 (92)


Hawthorn: Franklin 4, Roughead 3, Guerra 2, Bateman 2, Rioli 2, Muston, Williams, Osborne, Mcglynn.

Melbourne:  Sylvia 4, Martin 2, Robertson 2, Bate, Bruce, Johnson, McDonald, McLean.


Hawthorn: Lewis, Sewell, Mitchell, Muston, Franklin, Mcglynn, Whitecross, Morton.

Melbourne: Sylvia, Green, McDonald, McLean, Martin, Johnson.

Umpires: Rosebury, Hay, Avon Crowd: 39,395

My Votes: 3. C. Sylvia, 2. J.Lewis, 1. S.Mitchell.

About Steve Healy

Steve Healy is an entity of a Melbourne supporter.

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