AFL Round 17 – Hawthorn v Western Bulldogs: Bring on September

Hawthorn versus Western Bulldogs
1.45pm, Friday, 20 July
Aurora Stadium

2008 what a year, just the mention of it brings back memories of Stewie Dew nailing goals from afar to bring the Cats’ dream of a flag to an end. The word around the traps following this underdog victory from a bunch of young players, with a sprinkling of elders, was they had stolen one early. “Watch out for them in three years, they will be unstoppable”

Personally I disagreed, I believed that we would win the next six! How wrong I was. The Hawks had lost to the dogs in 08 at Aurora, but made short work of them in the first week of the finals, Following this we were not to record a win against them until mid 2010. Many teams had the Hawks’ measure in 09 and 10. We have had the dogs and most others’ measure since then, as the predictions of a powerful side in 2011 and beyond became a reality.

These past four years have seen Buddy dominate the goal kicking and Mitchell picking up all but one best and fairest. I had spotted Buddy at Epworth Hospital earlier in the week waiting to see Julian Feller, one of Melbourne’s best knee surgeons. It was evident then that Buddy would be missing against the Dogs.

With the wife away on a girls trip to Hobart, she had rung earlier and advised it was a “beautiful sunny day”, I settled in on the couch to watch the game with my daughter, sister in-law (both Hawks) and my brother whose interest has lessened as a victim of “rebuilding” at the Dogs. As the pictures started to come through it became apparent weather in Hobart is not weather in Launceston as the crowd are rugged up in waterproofs and carrying umbrellas.

The teams come up, my old Uni buddy’s son (Langford) is to make his debut, however not only is Buddy missing, but so is Mitchell. That familiar sense of niggling, but not real doubt, starts to manifest in the pit of my stomach. How important are these two to the Hawks. It cannot matter, the Dogs are just cellar dwellers.

It doesn’t take long for the niggle to subside as the Hawks are clearly there to win and are showing the Dogs just what it takes to be a top team. The Dogs to their credit though will not go away managing to drift between 15-20 points down for most of the first three quarters. Worth noting was Cheney in his effort to capitalise on a dodgy 50m penalty that took him to the top of the goal square. He surely is a gun on the pinball machine as his kick shot left, collected the post and bounced at such an angle that it nearly collected the right post.

In total contrast was a moment where Griffen streamed out of the middle and was about to put the Dogs inside 50. Hodge applied a smother which saw the ball end up in his arms. Being the champion he is, he takes a few steps and sets sail with a spiral through the middle of the big sticks. Definite candidate for Goal Of The Year.

The final quarter starts with a 15 point difference, but the Hawks have found another gear to kick the first four goals to take the lead out to over 40 points. A couple of goals were swapped and the Hawks are home. Perhaps they even went home, as with 7 minutes on the clock the Dogs kick four unanswered goals to make the final score line look less than dominating.

Players of note for the Hawks were Roughead with three goals, Hodge all day effort, Lewis and Smith. Puopolo and Duryea were influential in the first half. For the Dogs Griffen was outstanding and look out for Liberatore and Horvath in the years to come.

Another four points to the Hawks. We don’t need Buddy – let him go, maybe a draft pick for Boyd would be suitable.

Bring on September.

Hawthorn                    4.6 6.9 7.12 13.17 (95)
Western Bulldogs       2.3 3.7 5.9 11.10 (76)

Hawthorn: Roughead 3, Lewis 2, Simpkin 2, Hodge 2, Whitecross, Puopolo, Rioli, Breust
Western Bulldogs: Dahlhaus 2, Dickson 2, Giansiracusa 2, Griffen 2, Addison, Grant, Jones


Hawthorn: Lewis, Smith, Hodge, Roughhead

Western Bulldogs: Griffen, Liberatore, Cooney, Giansiracusa

Umpires: Bannister, Schmitt, Fisher

Official crowd: 14,022

Our Votes: 3 Griffen (WBD)  2 Lewis (Hawks) 1 Smith (Hawks)


  1. Rick Kane says

    Hi Tim

    Yes, good win described in a fine report. Also missing were Burges and Birch.

    Hodge and Mitch are taking it in turns to lead from the front, one leading one week, the other the next. When they both fire together against the big sides then we’ll see fireworks.

    Hodgey’s goal was jaw dropping. It’s only contender is by another Hawk, Buddy with the 12 second goal!


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