I’d written the Cats off just a week ago. I’ve been writing them off all year. All season, I’ve watched and waited for the once mighty to fall, their gallant but weary warriors unable to defy the critics another week in what has been a long season.
And with the Hawks having managed an ailing list to perfection, I had recently gone so far as to pencil in a Collingwood-Hawthorn Grand Final.
But after watching Geelong obliterate the reigning Premiers on Friday night, I’m a little confused. Who are they, this Geelong side? Are they a reincarnation of the unbeatable side of 2007 as some would suggest? I don’t think so. But they are something to admire, and fear. In years past I would look forward to any Hawthorn-Geelong match with a quiet confidence. I look to this Friday night at the MCG with trepidation.
Of course, we shouldn’t forget that the Swans managed to overcome the Cats at Kardinia Park a week prior. What was that all about?
And what of Collingwood, who are they? A week ago they looked unbeatable. Now, the Pies have me just as confused as a member of the Collingwood coaching staff at a 2012 strategic planning meeting.
The Hawks just got over the line against the Suns on Saturday, but with so many of their top-shelf players being rested, it was always going to be a contest. Nevertheless, the young Hawthorn side (I had to keep checking the Footy Record to identify players), looked composed and in control for most of the match.
Alistair Clarkson’s biggest worry at the moment is who to play and who to drop for the first final against the Cats. There’s something about this season, particularly the latter part of it that feels like 2008. I hope.
Whatever happens in the coming weeks, I’m content for one achievement this season. On Saturday, my daughter Molly and I were lucky enough to gain entry to the Hawthorn rooms after the match (thanks Keith). Sam Mitchell was a gentleman. Molly went home beaming.
Sasha Lennon is a Brisbane-based Knacker whose writing can be found at http://sashasoapbox.blogspot.com/