AFL Round 9 – Hawthorn v Gold Coast: Vibrant Matters

By Rick Kane

Vicki and I got away for the weekend. We stayed at a vineyard cabin in the rolling hills of Tarrawarra. A 50th present, courtesy of my family. We had a right old time of it; sipping Duperrey champagne while enjoying a spa at 11.30pm, buying a handbag made of chocolate at the Yarra Valley Chocolaterie & Ice Creamery (it’s realer than Willy Wonkas)  and nosing around Healsville’s arts and crafts.

I wasn’t particularly fussed about Sunday’s game. We’re playing Gold Coast … at the G … I mean, come on.

The countryside’s late autumn vibrant colours smother us like a blanket. Dappled sunlight massages its rays through reds and yellows and a variety of browns, as well as bright green leaves. To paraphrase J.K. Rowling, this place is crisp and golden as an apple. At night, leaning on the verandah post, looking out at the Yarra Ranges in the far distance, we take in the quiet as if it was oxygen.

On Saturday evening we had a massage in our cabin. (This is another present from my caring and generous family – phew, that was hard to say). Massages are, I believe, deserved decadence.  I don’t have enough massages. That’s what I’m thinking as the masseur starts on my shoulders and back. By the time she pushes firmly into the small of my back I’m hoping I’ve won the Massage lottery and this will be a daily event. Massage over, Vicki and I melt into the sofa. How relaxed am I? When I pee, even the pee flows at a languid pace.

We decide to drive to Marysville on Sunday, stopping on the way at Tarrawarra Museum of Art. I can listen to the game as we drive (and check scores on my FootyNow app). The TWMA is a revelation. The art work would sit comfortably alongside the best of Australian art in any State gallery. Apparently the TWMA collection displays “Australian art from the 1950s to the present day”. I feel comforted, seeing the analogy between TWMA’s mission and the Hawks journey. I am wearing my Always Hawthorn shirt for this journey as well.

As we move from one painting to the next I wonder, where does our eye instinctively go to in a painting and why. Does each of us go to a different point? And then I wonder, how can one person see brilliant shades of a colour where another just sees splatter. Then we are in the car, entering the Yarra Ranges National Park and listening to the game on 774.

Drew Morphett is an idiot. He is a merry-andrew. Franklin may be having an off game but jeez louise, Morphett has condemned him without mercy. The Suns are staying with the Hawks and apparently it’s all Buddy’s fault. The game is tighter than I would have thought but I remind myself that a game is played over four quarters. Anyway, I have more important things to consider. This is the first time Vicki or I have driven the Black Spur, through the magnificent Mountain Ash forest and our gob is being smacked. This is art.

We arrived at Marysville just before half time. The Suns held the lead. We walked around in awe of the spirit of the locals, rebuilding their lives and community after being devastated by Black Saturday bushfires four year ago. After lunch we head home, feeling humbled by a town that refuses to give an inch. As they say, “a stout heart breaks bad luck”. The footy team is called the ‘Villians’ but a wag has graffitied ‘Beatles’ across the clubroom walls. I hum “it getting better all the time” as we weave back onto the Black Spur.

The Suns are 17 points ahead, Ablett has had his 50,000 disposal and Prestia, Matera and O’Meara are tying the commentators’ tongues in knots. Then Buddy finds his rhythm. Then the game changes. Then Morphett changes his tune. As if. He still finds reason to criticise the best player to wear 23 for Hawthorn. Buddy kicks two and creates two more of the six goals that win the game for the Mightys. Vicki and I drive towards the outline of the city already feeling like the weekend was a dream. A vibrant dream. And vibrant matters.

HAWTHORN 4.5 7.6 13.8 18.10 (118)
GOLD COAST 3.3 9.5 10.6 14.8 (92)

Franklin 5, Burgoyne 3, Roughead 3, Grimley, Breust, Bailey, Gunston, Mitchell, Hodge, Puopolo
Gold Coast:
Hall 5, Ablett 3, Lynch, Prestia, Brown, Matera, Broughton, Swallow

Franklin, Burgoyne, Simpkin, Mitchell, Bailey, Stratton, Lewis
Gold Coast:
Ablett, Thompson, Prestia, Hall, Matera

Gold Coast:
Lonergan (hamstring), Brennan (knee), May (quad)

Sam Grimley subbed off for Taylor Duryea
Gold Coast:
Jesse Lonergan (hamstring) subbed off for Luke Russell at half-time

Reports: Nil

Umpires: Bannister, Ryan, Schmitt


  1. RK – beautiful work. But you didn’t get away with the sly dig at the Cats (chocolate handbags indeed!).

  2. Lord Bogan says

    “the best player to wear 23 for Hawthorn”.

    Big call Ricky. Dermott at his peak was superior I reckon.

  3. Rick Kane says

    Thanks Dips, and reading too much into handbag observation. The emphasis was on the chocolate, always is!

    Mr Lord Bogan, they are both greats of the club, no doubt. I tire of the Franklin negativity and it was spewing out of 774 on Sunday. It’s like people dismissing Dylan because of his voice! He’s frickin Shakespeare!


  4. Lord Bogan says

    That’s unfair Rick. I reckon Shakespeare was a better singer than Dylan.

    I see Buddy as the Freddy Mercury of Hawthorn no 23s.

  5. That languid pee line made me laugh out loud, Rick.

  6. Great work, Rick. Nice to be able to go away knowing that your team will do the job without you!

    Incidentally T Bone, LANGUID PEE is an anagram of I NEED A PLUG.

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