Eagles versus Hawthorn – youth versus experience

Flicking through the tv channels one day, I ended up on freestyle motocross. Inside a packed Madrid bullfighting arena, heavily tattooed Redbull-drinking riders soared high above massive dirt ramps. As if this was not dangerous enough, they would flip and contort the bike in mid-air, in an effort to increase the danger, at some stages even dispensing with the bike altogether.

While they all were obviously insane, I noticed it was the young guys who had the least fear, took the biggest risks and ended up on top. Why? According to the commentator, because they had yet to feel the pain of a severe fall and spend the next 6 months in a hospital bed lying on their back. The exuberance of youth!

However, some say ‘old age and treachery will overcome youth and skill.’ While the Hawks have plenty of skill, they are old in experience when compared to the Eagles.

The ‘unsociable’ Hawks have been at their aggressive best of late and after featuring in the last three grand finals and taking home two flags, hold a distinct edge in experience over the upstart Eagles. They have shown they can perform in front of 100,000 screaming fans on the big stage when it really matters. In the ultimate test of nerves – goal kicking – they kicked 21 goals and just 11 points in the 2014 grand final.

Always be aware of the young bullfighters though. Of this team of Eagles, only Ellis, Wellingham and Butler have played in a grand final before. The rest do not know the pain of lying on your back after a grand final loss, or even how hard it is to get back to earn that right. They will hit the hurdle with no fear, self-confidence, a heap of tattoos and the exuberance of youth on their side.

The Hawks know this only too well. In 2008, the young up-start hawks upset the fancied and more experienced Cats by 26 points to take the flag. If the hawks need to be reminded that experience doesn’t guarantee a good performance, they need only to look at Meatloaf’s ‘performance’ at the 2011 grand final.

So who will win? Will it be youth or experience? Only time will tell, but I’ll be cheering for youth.


Andrew lives in Perth and is a fan of most sports. He is a West Coast Eagles and Perth Wildcats fan.


  1. I reckon Hawks win coz the big forwards fail on the big days- perennially. Defenders get the tub of the green in the one-on-ones coz they don’t want easy goals awarded by umps. Hawks have a more able defence, should be a great match

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