AFL Round 15 – Hawthorn v Gold Coast: Odyssey to Launceston

An Odyssey to Launceston just to watch the Hawkers play

Might make a lot of sense in March, but not on a winter’s day.

My travel planning, it was said, showed no imagination

As the day dawned dark and freezing, with much precipitation.

I hauled my son, aged twenty-one, to the Outer (standing) section

To see a gun with shaven scone exemplify perfection.


Two Gary Abletts I have known. The first was a heavenly force.

The second coming, in this case, shows dessert can beat main course.

I learned a maxim long ago as a follower of sports

And shared it with young Tom this day – a philosophy of sorts:

“When all-time legends come along that are this damn good to see

Try not to miss a single game. Seize each opportunity.”


We found a sheltered spot to stand, and bantered with some locals.

They seemed a trifle sensitive, to not be seen as yokels.

The tattooed woman next to us would have just been freed from jail.

“Youse must be mainlanders,” she said, as we cowered from the gale.

The size of the crowd was modest, and it was hard to pick it.

After all, half the gate got in on a family ticket.


The pre-game warm-ups gave us a premonition of a win –

The Hawks stayed out for half an hour, but the Coasters raced back in

As soon as it started hailing (which the locals saw as soft).

We were full of expectation as the ball was held aloft.

But from the bounce the match became a game of thrust and parry.

The Suns game plan was obvious – to get the ball to Gary.

Scores were level into time-on at the end of Quarter Two

But Hawthorn then kicked five straight goals by the time the siren blew

Via Lewis, Hodge and Cyril, and Isaac Smith bagged a pair

While the little guy fought bravely (the one without any hair).

Despite McKenna’s half-time plea that the season must be saved

Four Hawthorn goals after the break meant the white flag had been waved.


Quarter Four. The Hawks seemed assured of a victory, unfussed

Before Cyril did his hammy and then Luke Breust got concussed.

So a slew of Suns conversions cut the margin at the end –

But a tumble down the ladder’s what proceedings here portend.

For in every key statistic the visitors were slaughtered.

A metronomic mid-year win – just what our coaches ordered.


What did we learn? Well, once again, the Hawks are flag contenders.

Our forward line is potent though we’re short of key defenders.

The Suns put up an early fight yet crumbled under pressure;

They may still make the finals but the good sides have their measure.

To reach the top requires true grit, and not just draft concessions.

Gaz left the field with head in hands – and 45 possessions!


We walked to town as rain poured down and thermometers plunged to five.

Hardy Coasters who’d made the trip surely knew they were alive.

I spied a fan in red and gold, down in Tassie for the week.

“Goin’ surfin’ mate?” I asked him, with my tongue stuck in my cheek.

Can someone tell the AFL: in the north of the nation

York Park’s unlikely to become a favoured destination.


Launceston has a home-town feel. As Hawthorn as Glenferrie.

17 wins from 18 games. The populace was merry.

We found a pub and downed some grub and talked about our day.

We’d had a satisfying win and seen Gary Ablett play,

We’d survived Antarctic weather and bantered with some rogues

As pilgrims to this wintry town of bluestone and of Boags.



Final score Hawthorn 17-14-116 to Gold Coast 10-3-63.



Hawthorn                            2.5                          9.6                          14.11                     17.14     (116)

Gold Coast                          3.0                          5.0                          6.0                          10.3        (63)



Hawthorn – Breust 3, Hodge 3, Birchall 2, Smith 2, Lewis 2, Roughead 2, Rioli, Ceglar, Burgoyne

Gold Coast – Dixon 2, Ablett 2, Lynch 2, Prestia, Bennell, Martin, Smith



Hawthorn – Hodge, Lewis, Shiels, Sewell, Breust, Burgoyne, Smith

Gold Coast – Ablett, O’Meara, Swallow, Harbrow



Schmitt, Stevic, O’Gorman


Crowd – 13,178



Ablett 3

Hodge 2

Lewis 1


  1. Rick Kane says

    Hi DG

    Chaucer, Clarko and the Hawks community would be proud of such words and sentiments. Thou hast described the place, the day and win well, with warmth and wit.

    I must have attended the only loss in 18 games at York Park. The Roos did us by 12 points. I watched the game with a Roos fan. April 2010, weather wasn’t bad and we sat on a bit of grass which made the experience feel a little like the old days. Then it got cold and we hit the pubs, drinking stout.


  2. Dave Goodwin says

    Thanks Rick – Tim Adam and I were there that day in April 2010 as well, for the North loss. We stood on the fence on the “easterly” side – the side the wind blows to (not the coaches box side). As I recall the Hawks only named one ruckman (Renouf, I think) but he broke down during the warmup and Roughead had to ruck all day against 2 North big men. I remember writing at the time “let’s hope 5 foot Clarkson has learned the value of the 7 footer”. I think he did, and we’ve always played 2 big boys ever since.

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