AFL Round 14 – Hawthorn v Collingwood (Floreat Pica Society): Momentum killers

“Momentum killers”, it’s a term I remember Lethal Leigh using in commentary after one of the Pies’ gallant losses against Geelong in home & away 2010.  We were on the rise, we were matching them blow for blow, but poor execution of skills or decision making resulted in turnovers for Cats’ goals and momentum killers.

Today it was last year’s premiers against a work-in-progress, injury hit and NQR Pies. With their recent dominance over us, I wasn’t expecting a win, but in a two horse race you can always hope.  Hope for one of those days when the planets all align with 100% effort across the board, the stars lead from the front, we take our chances and a bit of luck along the way.  Unfortunately, as it panned out, too many momentum killers by the Pies and 3 minutes at the end of the 3rd quarter was the game breaker, as the Hawks rode their luck and then torched us with their superior skill.

Apart from that period, the Pies matched the Hawks for most of the game.   Early in the first, the Hawks were looking better than us with some clean entry into space into their forward 50 with Roughy and Bruest dangerous.  Our backs looked a bit nervy and a metre off their opponents and some inconsistent soft free kicks gave Hawthorn a helping hand that made the task even more difficult for the Pies.  A signature Clinton Young drive-by 55 metre bomb goal, then smart vision and passing from Pendles and Seeds led to goals from Macaffer and Elliott respectively to ensure we stayed in touch.

Bruest and Roughy goaled early in the 2nd to put a 3 goal break on us.  Langdon continued our crappy luck with early game injuries, and another backman down, getting subbed off with concussion mid quarter.  We continued to have plenty of opportunities, but momentum killers from Macaffer – missed goal from 20 metres out – and two gettable set shot misses from the usually reliable Jesse White were costly.  But the second quarter was most notable for big Clokey firing up.  He received some good delivery from the midfield of Pendles, Seedy and Young and he dominated the second half of the quarter clunking marks again and kicking 3 goals. The last on the siren giving the Pies momentum at half time and back within 9 points.

The Pies continued the momentum in the 3rd quarter but again we couldn’t take our opportunities and we again got the rough end of the pineapple from the Martians in green.  Forty seconds into the 3rd quarter and a first AFL goal for Broomy, which would have bought us within 2 points, was denied after another 50/50 free kick against Beams on Lewis was paid.  A Jesse White out-on-the-full from in front of the MCC, shortly after was rebounded immediately by the classier Hawks for a goal.  We dominated possession, our pressure was intense but weren’t taking our chances.

Then Elliott matches Macaffer’s 2nd quarter effort with a missed sitter from 25 metres out.  Five minutes later he gets another chance and nails it, and then Cloke impersonates Daics with a grubber classic to bring us within 2 points and we are flying.  The next 5 minutes we continue to attack but the Hawks defend well.  Then enter the Martians to impose their incompetence and inconsistency on the game.  The non-controlling umpire pays a throw against Pendles for a perfectly legitimate handball which had us on the burst for a forward thrust.  As Harry Hoo would say “Aaaaamazing”.

As you would expect, the Hawks seize their chance banging it forward and Sewell snapping a pressure goal to be the ultimate momentum killer.  The tug of war continues for another 5 minutes and with Blair spinning out of a pack 30 metres out finds some space but hurries his kick and misses another gettable shot.  The Sewell snap earlier compared to the Blair miss unfortunately illustrated the difference between our sides.  And then the Hawks went “bang”.  From the kick-in their left footers weaved through the corridor and goaled through Bruest, followed quickly by goals to Hill and then the high-flying Puopolo.  Game over.

It might have been the shortest day of the year, but the last quarter was the longest quarter of the year.  We’d run out of gas and hadn’t made the most of our momentum in the third quarter and whilst we almost went goal-for-goal, we were never going to come back after their third quarter burst of three goals in three minutes.

So, what do we make of it? A frustrating game for Pies fans. The effort was there, a couple of the stars shone, but we failed to take our chances and we didn’t have a lot go our way. Whilst it was a 29 point loss, it was a much better defensive performance than we’ve put up against the Hawks in recent years. Our pressure was significantly better and we curbed a lot of their usual fast classy ball movement. Whilst they had some strong performances and high possession getters, we didn’t let the likes of Hodge, Lewis, Suckling, Burchall, Rioli, Smith etc kill us like they normally do. Had we not butchered some gettable shots at crucial times and if there was some consistency from the peanuts in green, the ¾ time scoreline may have been different and kept us alive in the last.  As I just heard from Bucks’ presser he highlighted “we didn’t seize our moments” and we “didn’t get the rub of the green”, which sums it up.

Clokey was huge up forward clunking contested marks again, presenting well and getting some improved delivery.  His accurate kicking was a highlight – I just loved the set shot goal from the “Didak pocket” when the umpire wanted to put him on his angle and directed him to start from Bay 57 seat A1. Pendles was the main man in the middle setting up countless attacks and his usual stack of clearances, contested possessions and pressure acts – although he wasn’t quite as polished as normal.  The rest were OK at times but overall a bit NQR.  The likes of Dwyer, Macaffer, Young, Seedy, Adams, Elliott, Williams, Keefe, Beams, Ball and Swan all did some good things but didn’t have the consistency of good performance or impact that you need to win a game like that.  Big Wittsy copped an animated spray from Bucks for his efforts in the ruck.  On World Giraffe Day, he looked as awkward and slow as his lanky friends in the first three quarters.  He responded in sorts with a couple of goals playing deep forward in the last quarter but it was too little too late.  I know he’s only a kid, but hopefully Bucks’ calculated blast fires him up to provide a big strong presence around the ground which was sadly lacking.

The Paul Sharkey/Shannon Gibson Medal goes to skipper Scott Pendlebury.  And the Horsborough Votes:
3 – Pendles
2 – Clokey
1 –  this was almost impossible to give and don’t really think anyone deserved it, but I’ve opted for Sam Dwyer just ahead of a few of those mentioned in the last paragraph.

Floreat Pica and Go Pies.

HAWTHORN             4.3    7.7    12.10   17.13   (115)
COLLINGWOOD       3.1    6.4     9.7      13.8     (86)

Hawthorn: Breust 4, Roughead 3, Rioli 2, Schoenmakers 2, Ceglar, Sewell, Hill, Puopolo, Gunston, Smith
Collingwood: Cloke 5, Elliott 2, Witts 2, Young, Macaffer, Blair, Adams

Hawthorn: Sewell, Breust, Hodge, Birchall, Spangher, Ceglar
Collingwood: Pendlebury, Cloke, Elliott, Swan, Young

Umpires: Pannell, Hosking, Schmitt,

Official crowd: 74,095 at the MCG

About Ramon Dobb

A footy and cricket fanatic. A lifelong passionate one eyed Mighty Magpie fanatic. My writing is unashamedly written with one black & white eye open only - so please don't take offence, it's nothing personal, it's just the black & white way! Also a lifelong player and member of Washington Park Cricket Club, the Mighty Sharks. My 15 minutes of fame includes regular contributions to Hot Pies, the 1999-2004 Fanzine, and regular contributor to the Coodabeen Champions weekly competition from their heady 3RRR days. Go Pies and Floreat Pica.


  1. E.regnans says

    Grand report, Ramon.
    I had half an ear on this one. ABC radio gave me the same impression as your story there.
    In the mix.
    Could be better, but it’s a good spot to be.

    World Giraffe Day..? Excellent.

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