AFL Round 3 – Collingwood v Hawthorn: The Big Palooka

Luke Hodge. Hawk fans just love him. Last week, he returned on wide, western plains, rounding up 25 possessions. This week: 31, 6 tackles and 2 goals.

Leaving my Hodge-crush aside, the Magpies began an entertaining Round 3 clash, the better. Both sides moved the ball quickly, but Collingwood made hay while the sun did not shine. Elliot’s 2nd goal, from a chain of handballs, was the best of the quarter. Hawthorn had an 11-point deficit.

The break provided a moment for reflection. Not on the contest, on Hawthorn’s jumper. You may not have noticed, but it looked a little inverted. The back reminded of a half open Easter Egg, while the stripes on the front drove to distraction (a short drive admittedly). Do we have three brown stripes or three gold? (Discuss) I said to Hugh, “I’m not sure about the new, ‘away’ strip. Why mess with perfection?”

In the second quarter, Cloke outshone the dim, the drizzle and the Schoe. By contrast, Hawthorn’s forwards were subdued, until one reared its Roughead. Anderson crumbed a goal, Buddy, and then Luke Hodge showed true grit. From a boundary throw-in, he drew the footy and went the mongrel punt. The ball floated, dipped, and bounced over the goal umpire.

The Hawks had finished with goals and momentum, perceptible shift. I was digging the jumper now.

The momentum continued in the third. Stratton picked off a kick-in and Breust cashed in. Goals followed to Buddy and Birch, Cloke interposed, before Guerra, Stratton and Buddy took it all the way, post-to-post! It was a little fancy, so Hodge reminded of the joy of keeping it simple.  At another stoppage, he gathered and let a sweet, spiral torpedo fly. Transcending the mongrel.

In dying stages, Fasolo and Cloke tried to salvage a late chase, but the Hawks rode on to Red River, with goals to Roughy (lucky), Burgoyne and Breust: Hawthorn by 24, turning for home.

The final quarter belonged to Hawthorn, 7 goals to 2. And there was more Hodge; winning a one-on-one, rattling the post and shooting a wry smile, ‘Should have gone the torp’.

It was another good battle, with strong performances and tests of strength between the hard-nosed, conflicting birds. Whether patrolling back, winning a clearance, or launching goals off a single step, Hodge was inspiring. Growing up, I regularly watched old Westerns, some directed by Howard Hawks (really). To coalesce a little here, Hodge roams like John Wayne; a steady hand over the herd, big Palooka. Now ride for El Dorado… or Launceston.

Collingwood 3.6  7.6  11.9  13.12 (90)

Hawthorn 2.1 7.5  15.9  22.13 (145)


Collingwood: Cloke 5, Elliott 3, Blair, Hudson, Fasolo, Brown, Lynch?Hawthorn: Franklin 4, Breust 3, Roughead 3, Burgoyne 3, Hodge 2, Hill 2, Hale, Anderson, Birchall, Puopolo, Lewis

Best: Collingwood: Cloke, Swan, Elliott, Blair, Johnson, Hudson

Hawthorn: Hodge, Birchall, Stratton, Sheils, Franklin, Gibson, Roughead, Burgoyne

Official Crowd: 72,254.

Our Votes: 3 Hodge (Haw) 2 Birchall (Haw) 1 Stratton (Haw).

About Paul Campbell

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

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