AFL Round 8 – Sydney v Hawthorn: Worth The Wait

It has taken eight weeks of the new season, but on Friday night, the Swans unveiled the much vaunted forward line combination that until now has posed more questions than answers. I for one, think it was certainly with the wait. Bloods supporters all over the nation have been salivating at the prospect of Tippett, Franklin, Goodes and Reid all playing together. Last night, it all culminated in a performance which at last provided answers to all of the questions which centred around whether or not this expensive experiment would work. The modern-day football fan craves attacking football that exhilarates through a blur of movement at break neck speed. The Swans, at their best, attack through their swarming team oriented defensive acts which in turn allows the speed merchants the space and time to go to work. Tonight, apart from some wayward kicking at goal, these Swans exhilarated once again.

The cavernous ANZ Stadium masqueraded as an AFL venue once again as The Enemy came to town as the reigning premiership holders. The evening began with the slightly unnerving scene of the quartet of power forwards introducing themselves to each other in the goal square. ‘Hi, I’m Lance’.’G’day Lance, my name is Kurt’. Adam and Sam have met before. The stands are filled with red and white and there is an air of expectancy from the faithful. The match begins and the Lemon Sherrin remains entrenched in the Swannies’ froward fifty for the best part of fifteen minutes. The forward line appears to be functioning well and minds are instantly eased. Time to settle in and enjoy the show.

The first goal of this heavyweight fight is kicked by the bulky Tippett. A confidence booster just two minutes in, this was indeed a good sign for Bloods supporters. Franklin kicks a point, Goodes sets up the second goal for Jack and Sammy Reid is clunking them! A dazzling start to the match from the Swans sees them kick three of the opening four goals and inaccuracy in front of the goals is seemingly the only factor keeping The enemy in this contest. Tackling, smothering, pressure acts and one-percenters are the trademark of the Bloods. Tonight, the trademark traits are evident for all to see. The midfield of this team had been heavily criticised over the first month of the season. Over the past month, this very same midfield has muscled their way back into scintillating form, this improvement in form climaxing in the first quarter tonight. A mammoth forty-four possessions between Hannebery, Kennedy, McVeigh and Jack highlights the dominance in this crucial area of the ground.

The second term begins with our most improved player, Parker, marking and kicking truly. This is a young player destined to uphold the values of the Bloods culture for the future generation. The Enemy are working their way back into the contest somewhat, but I feel a sense of alleviation not often apparent in matches against the team formerly known as The Mayblooms. Hannebery has snuck his own footy through security and Langford applies the tag. Kennedy is playing as he always does in a big game: bloody well. Buddy has kicked six behinds on the bounce, but is moving well and finding plenty of it. Tippett has switched into best-mode and is monstering defenders close to goal. Despite the dominance, errant goal kicking has left the door ajar, and The Enemy show their class in fighting their way back to get within seven points at the long break.

A hamstring is pinged, a substitution is made and The Enemy are looking a little shaky. Mal drives a long bomb through the middle and we’re away again. Hang on, two quick goals and an obvious lift in intensity and The Enemy have hit the front! they are playing well with Burgoyne leading the charge. I find comfort in the fact that we have doubled their scoring shots and surely we will start to kick straight. Surely. Buddy kicks his seventh point, Parker chases a man who has a lovely little ponytail and goals from the ensuing free kick. Goals are traded all term and we enter the final stanza with The Enemy holding a three-point lead.

A final quarter filled with intensity around the contest is six minutes old when Franklin marks (that’s right, the man CAN mark) and slots through his first major for the night. The Bloods are back in the lead, and this functioning forward line is as comforting as my fluffy ugg boots on this chilly Hobartian night. Hannebery is headed for forty and is quite simply a running machine. Jetta is revelling in his new quarterback style role and hitting targets left, right and centre. A match winning six goal final term blitz, included Buddy and Mal’s second each, Hannebery topping off a terrific game with a left foot snap from a stoppage and McVeigh unselfishly assisting Jetta for a tap-in goal that he roosts high into the stands. The war is won and this team again produces the goods when it matters most.

Cheer, cheer the Red and the White rings around the ground and around my lounge room as I burst into a rendition of gleeful song and dance, combined with some energetic pseudo banjo and trumpet playing that my wife uploads to the social media world! At this point in time, I am still awaiting some form of recording contract now that my talents have made it out of the living room and into the general public. About time. What a night, well worth the wait.

Sydney 15.17 (107)

Hawthorn 13.10 (88)

Goals:

Sydney: Tippett 4, Franklin 2, Parker 2, Malceski 2, Jack, Bird, McVeigh, Hannebery, Jetta

Hawthorn: Roughead 3, Breust 3, Simpkin 2, Birchall, Puopolo, Hale, Suckling, Duryea

Best:

Sydney: Kennedy, Hannebery, Parker, Jack, Tippett, Franklin, Jetta

Hawthorn: Burgoyne, Roughead, Duryea, Lewis, Hill

Umpires:

Ryan, Jeffery, McInerney

Crowd:

34,506 at ANZ Stadium

Malarkey Medal Votes:

3 – Josh Kennedy (Sydney)

2 – Dan Hannebery (Sydney)

1 – Luke Parker (Sydney)

About Joe Moore

Learned the art of the drop-punt from Derek Kickett as Jamie Lawson watched on. And thus, a Swan for life. @joedmoore1979

Comments

  1. Enjoying all your reports Joe.
    As a neutral I enjoyed watching the game. The width of the statement seemed a plus, with room outside for Bradley Hill and Lewis Jetta to run the ball. Exciting.
    I have a feeling that your phalanx of talls might do better at ANZ Stadium than the SCG because they won’t trip over each other.
    Tippett impressed me. Hard to beat one on one.
    I kept thinking both coaches would be (inwardly) happy. Clarkson knows that his system and his players stands up against good opposition, without 4 of their 5 best players. Hawks were very brave.
    Sydney swarmed and ran. Gave the first real glimpse of coming together in 2014. But they made hard work of it until the last 10 minutes.
    Good game. Good report.

  2. As Clarko said ” glad buddy didn’t have his kicking boots on”.

  3. Franky's Mask says

    G’day Joe. Interesting Hawks/Swans report young fellow. I’ve glanced through your previous footy reports and congratulate you on your style, passion and enthusiasm for the game, and in particular, the Swans. Thought you were perhaps a little over the top with your bias towards the Swans for their win on Friday night.

  4. Joe Moore says

    Thank you for some great feedback Peter and Franky. The report was certainly delivered from a very excited (and slightly biased perhaps) Bloods member. A match that caused the great A.Clarkson to declare “Sydney were by far the better side on the night” was justifiably enough for this eager little supporter to provide a report that highlighted the Swans’ dominance. Thanks again!

  5. Rosemary Paterson says

    Always a good read Joe. Too many behinds is always a worry for me, our midfield have to work twice as hard getting it back to the forwards AGAIN. Lucky for us they are AFL ‘s BEST.
    Here’s hoping a lot of practice has got us some “Sure boots” kicking our way.
    BRING THE FLAG HOME SWANNIES, you’ve done us PROUD.

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