AFL Round 18 – Hawthorn v. Sydney: Exile on Franklin Street

Round 18. Hawthorn v. Sydney: Exile on Franklin Street.     A 7-goal goal third quarter realized a 10-point victory for Hawthorn, in their top-of-the-table clash with Sydney. Hawthorn 15.14.104 defeated Sydney 13.16.94. For Hawthorn fans it was also a first ‘MCG reunion’ with their former star, turned defector. An old buddy was in town, a spicy distraction.   Looking at him in Santa suit colors, brought on a rich tapestry of emotions and ‘isms’ – pragmatism, stoicism, cynicism, nihilism and of course capitalism. There’s been enough water under the bridge and, when ball was bounced, his loyalties were unambiguous. He ran into Hawks and they ran into him, he gave and got verbal and he ‘strutted’ after kicking his first as I wondered if he knew all the names of the congratulating teammates?   He imposed himself early, just as in Round 8, and while I willed him to ‘commit no nuisance’ there was an ‘upper hand’ at issue and strutting to be done. Roughy kicked our first, a characteristic Isaac Smith launch was the second. At quarter-time we were 2.7(!).


In Melbourne’s legal end, the writing is on the wall.

In the second quarter, Luke Breust outmaneuvered Nick Smith, to mark and goal. Franklin trailed into a marking duel, a fortuitous ball fell into his hands and he finished with a punitive snap shot.   A long, speculative, bouncing goal from another ex-Hawk, McGlynn, squeezed lemon into my bitterness. However, things were on the up when a Jordan Lewis torpedo pitted Puopolo against Laidler. Our express defensive forward trailed but dug in, as if spirit-channeling Burgess Meredith from ‘Rocky II’[1], “Speed, speed, speed!!!” Pup gathered, evaded and kicked a crowd-lifter.   At the break, I wondered about Franklin’s legacy at Hawthorn. A magnanimous sound bite of, ‘Thanks for the memories and good luck’ seems untenable when we play against him. Tonight there was evident divisiveness and some boos. Not from me. I’m a quiet imploder.   He marked, one-handed, near the boundary and raised the ball, the pantomime antagonist. Boo! There’s still love for him – if not his decision – notwithstanding it’s understood on an accountancy level.

In the book “Fever Pitch”, Nick Hornby wrote of the fan, “…. anyone who wishes to understand how football is consumed must realize this above all things. The players are merely our representatives… and sometimes if you look hard you can see the little poles that join them together and the handles at the side that enable us to move them.…”   The second half began with Goodes’ eerily familiar pro-golf chip shot.

23-points down (23?!). Then the Hawks went for their long game. Breust completed a fine snap across the body and Suckling played-on from full back, to Birchall, down the stretch – ‘Speed, speed!’ – to Breust again.   He’s been a fan favourite since he started, but the 23-year-old from Temora, New South Wales has become elite. Personally, he reminds of past Hawthorn star, Gary Buckenara (1982-1990 – 154 games). Breust is balanced and does the Geometry equations well on a hurried snap shot. He’s also good at Physics.   Franklin slipped goal-side for a rather derivative effort, but the Hawks were surging now, using the expanses of the ‘G, with deep kicking and leg speed. Isaac Smith eluded lunging Swans – ‘Speed!’ – and drove it through. Then it was Langford to Hill – Speed! …Wait, they’ve got him –to Roughead, goal!   In the final quarter, Smith went long to Roughead and Puopolo had a second. Kennedy and Goodes kept them in it, before Burgoyne intercepted to uphold the advantage and Hodge sealed what was, probably, our best win of the season.

Political folklore has it the campaign message of Bill Clinton’s 1992 presidential campaign was, “It’s the economy, stupid”. I think tonight’s on-message was, “It’s the jumper, stupid”. When he finishes in 14 or 15 seasons, Franklin will be a celebrated 2-club champion. We wish him well, but not against us.   In 2014, I’ve felt exiled from his shine, strutting and hullabaloo, exiled from my old expectations, of the once brightest star in the constellation. However, as we’ve gone down the stretch, Hawthorn has got on with building its next ‘champion team’. I like this year’s model, with its medium-sized stars.

Exile’s not a bad place to be.

Hawthorn    2.7       4.8       11.11       15.14    (104)

Sydney          2.3       5.9       9.14             13.16   (94)

Goals:  Hawthorn: Roughead 4, Breust 3, Smith 3, Puopolo 2, Gunston, Burgoyne, Hodge

Sydney: Goodes 4, McGlynn 3, Franklin 3, Tippett 2, Kennedy

Best: Hawthorn: Lewis, Shiels, Mitchell, Roughead, Breust, Puopolo

Sydney: McGlynn, Kennedy, Goodes, Rampe, Bird, Franklin

Our votes: Lewis (Haw) 3, Roughead (Haw) 2, Puopolo (Haw) 1.

[1] If memory serves, it was the ‘chasing the chicken’ scene.

About Paul Campbell

Lawyer, left footer. Loves the Hawks and follows a few U.S sports.


  1. Loved the Nick Hornby quote. Captures the fan’s sensibility perfectly.
    I keep wondering if the Hawks win made it easier to benignly accept the return of the prodigal traitor.
    Wonderful game to watch as a neutral. The Hawks creativity seems to bring out the best in the Swans. They were back to their strangling unwatchable worst (from a viewing perspective) against Essendon last night.
    Watching successive games (Fremantle and Sydney) coached by Roos’ acolytes is mind numbing shit.

  2. aussie80s says

    Nice wrap Paul.

    I didn’t manage to be part of the record Swans H&A crowd – which must have been just marginally more than the last game at VFL Park – but it certainly looked a good game on the box. I remember muttering an expletive followed by the word Goodes as I changed the channel to regain composure at being 23 points down. I actually dislike Goodes more than Franklin and I have no idea why. By the time I switched it back on the Hawks were 9 points up. Fortunately I had it on the hard drive and did a quick rewind. The last time that trick worked for me was back in 1984 and we were trailing Carlton at three quarter time and kicking into the wind in the last – I switched off the radio only to find when I turned it on again that Peter Curran had kicked 5 goals in a quarter and the Hawks had cruised home. Curran’s celebrations were used by Channel 7 for a few years in promos.

    Great win by the Hawks and the second half of the third quarter (that I missed watching live) is amongst the best footy I have ever seen – it’s always better when you win.

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