AFL Round 7 – Hawthorn v St Kilda: Hawks Soar Over Saints

Hawthorn v St. Kilda; MCG; 1.45pm Saturday 3 May

by Braham Dabscheck

There was the euphoric win over Essendon, the one that got away against Brisbane and now this: a humiliating 145 point loss to the Hawks. There is no way of gilding the lily, Hawthorn played all over the Saints. If the truth be known, the Saints played like they did in the first half against Brisbane. The difference being that the Hawks are a superior side to the Lions and, whereas the Lions lacked the skills to put the game beyond reach, the Hawks put the foot on the accelerator and took the Saints apart. The only bright spot was the second half of the first quarter when the Saints looked competitive and probably should have had an extra goal.

 

The rest of the season is going to be a character building experience for Saints’ fans – a trip down memory lane to the second half of the 1970s and 1980s. There are two major problems which will bedevil the Saints for the rest of this season. The first is injuries. Every game sees another player going down with a major injury. Before the game had even started, Tom Hickey, who was working his way into an accomplished ruckman was replaced due to a foot injury, which will probably see him miss 10-12 weeks. Jarryn Geary, who was celebrating his 100th game for the Saints, and was enjoying one of his best seasons, injured his elbow at the beginning of the second quarter and will also probably miss 10-12 weeks. Then James Gwilt suffered a knock to the head; hopefully it is not concussion, which could see him sidelined for a week or two.

 

Add this to David Armitage, who after possibly taking the mark of the year has a poisoned knee, Sam Gilbert with an injured foot, and Nathan Wright and Eli Templeton with a broken leg and arm, respectively. This is quite an impressive lot of injured players, and half of the backline.

 

Finally, Nick Riewoldt’s knee doesn’t look right. He seems to jar it in a contest early in the game, which restricts his ability to run and hold his own in marking contests. There will be a time when he will be doing something other than carrying the team on his shoulders. It might be apt to rest him for a period to let his body recover and experiment with a different forward line.

 

While the Hawks’ demolition job was comprehensive the game did provide some positive portents for the future. Both Rhys Stanley and Jack Billings look like they can do the job up forward. Stanley is used as a second ruckmen. Another big man should fulfil this role with Stanley playing as a permanent forward. He can take a big mark in a pack and is learning how to lead. Billings has football smarts. All he needs to do is improve his kicking for goal. Leigh Montagna, Lenny Hayes and Jack Stevens played their hearts out (they had 28 per cent of the Saints possessions between them) to no avail. Next Friday night’s game against Carlton, another team in a downwards transition, may prove to be the spark where the Saints get there season back on track. Saints fans always live in hope.

 

Hawthorn   6.2   11.7   21.9   27.13 (145)

St. Kilda     2.3    2.3     3.4     4.6    (30)

 

Goals

Hawthorn: Schoenmakers 4, Roughead 4, Breust 4, Gunston 4, Rioli 2, Hale 2, Burgoyne 2, Hill, Hartung. Lewis

St. Kilda: Stanley, Montagna, Billings, Steven

 

Best

Hawthorn: Burgoyne, Suckling, Hodge, Bruest, Burchill.

St. Kilda: Montagna, Stevens, Hayes, Billings.

 

Umpires: Margetts, Mollison, O’Gorman.                                   Crowd: 32,924

 

Our Votes: Burgoyne 3 (Haw), Suckling 2 (Haw), Hodge 1 (Haw).

 

Comments

  1. Guru Gus says

    Based on the Adelaide thrashing, and the surprise outcome against Essendon, I would’nt be surprised if the Saints came out and gave Carlton a good go.

    The real downside is Hickey. Longner is nowhere near ready yet, and Stanley is not a first ruck. Be nice to get Fisher back. Goodness know the backline needs him.

  2. We have waited so long for Stanley to begin realizing the enormous potential placed on his shoulders, and now appears to be the time. And while last season the Saints introduced a number of young players — and some now fill key roles this season — this year’s crop of youngsters may be the best since the amazing group at the start of this century that fueled the Grand Final teams. We are starting to see the formation of the nucleus of the Next Great Run. If the Saints stick to their rebuilding strategy, we’ll be back in the top mix before too long.

  3. Yvette Wroby says

    Hi braham Gus and Glenn , I wrote a second piece this week Just on all the injuries, listing the saints and all others for each round and I was shocked at how many broken saints we have but also from other teams. It is awful to think of the great damage these players will have in their bodies perhaps for the rest of their lives. Good observation and summary of the game. Go saints . Yvette

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