Hawks Hang on as Burgoyne Does the Number 9 (and the Helmet) Proud

By Sasha Lennon

Hawthorn has kept its season alive after holding on against a gallant Richmond in what was certainly not a clash of the titans.

Who would have thought at the beginning of the season that the Round 8 match between Hawthorn and Richmond would be a battle of the cellar-dwellers?

Perhaps we could have expected Richmond to be there, but certainly not the Hawks, who began season 2010 with so much expectation following a disappointing 2009.

As I reclined in my Brisbane lounge room, I was still nursing a lingering case of acute boredom inflicted upon me by the classy Cats, who the previous evening had effortlessly demolished the Lions at the Gabba.

I was hoping for something a little more interesting from the Tigers and the Hawks, and while class would be in limited supply at times, this match, as it turned out, would at least keep me interested.

Despite sitting in fourteenth spot on the ladder, I was quietly confident for the Hawks in the knowledge that big guns Sam Mitchell and Lance Franklin were returning from injury and Campbell Brown was lining up for his 150th game.

Also comforting was the senior debut of ex-Power man Shaun Burgoyne.  The fact that he was wearing Shane Crawford’s old number 9 (and what looked like Jason Dunstall’s old helmet) only boosted my confidence.

My sometime Richmond supporting mate Bill was at the ‘G’.  Bill sent me a text early (a sign he too was feeling good about things).  “I’m at the G.  You here by any chance?” he asked.

“No, but wish I was” I replied.  I’d tipped the Hawks to win by five goals and would have loved to have been there to see a win after six losses on the trot.

The ball was bounced and the rough and tumble began.  Burgoyne got a couple of touches early, a good sign.

Franklin was in the mix and Mitchell was everywhere.

The Tigers (with no Cousins) looked focussed.  Soon enough they had the first goal of the match through Jack Riewoldt, then another to Chris Newman.  No text from Bill.  Strange I thought.

When Shane Edwards snapped through Richmond’s third, I started to worry.

Shaun Burgoyne was racking up the possessions and reminding me why I miss Shane Crawford.

The Hawks soon found their rhythm and their first goal thanks to a hard-running Grant Birchall.

Both teams lifted their intensity.  It was a bit messy but enthralling to watch.

Carl Petersen got one to Buddy after the Hawks rebounded.  Buddy kicked truly.  Only three points in it now.

The second quarter saw the Hawks goal early to hit the front.  Then Clinton Young found his voice and bobbed one through.  The Hawks were now up by 10 points.

Burgoyne, Mitchell and Rioli were relentless in their running.  Sewell and Lewis were doing their part too, the latter kicking a goal to put Hawthorn up by 15 points.  The Tigers for a moment looked rattled.

I called Bill but no answer.

Then Riewoldt and after him, Jackson (who was having a fine match), kicked majors for the Tigers.  Hawthorn’s lead was down to just four points.

Then came the regulation Cyril Rioli magic moment.

Cyril over-ran the loose ball in a chase against two or more Tigers, as if he couldn’t quite handle his own pace.  Somehow, he managed to slam on the brakes and then deftly move the ball foot to hand, Gaelic-like before booting it through the big sticks.  It was simply brilliant.

But the Tigers soon got one back.  The Hawks answered when just before half-time, Petersen put through his second for the Hawks.

The third terms started with Hawthorn seven points in front.  The game lifted a gear, and while it also remained a little sloppy, both sides attacked well.  Cotchin was everywhere.

Near the end of the term Jarryd Roughead put one through to give the Hawks a 10 point lead.

The final term commenced with another opportunistic goal to Roughead to put Hawthorn in front by 17 points, the biggest margin of the day.

Campbell Brown applied some of that ‘unsociable’ football with a bone-crunching hit on Daniel Jackson, who had been playing well all day.

That was followed shortly after by a goal to Rioli (his fourth).  But Richmond would not give up.  When White slotted one through for the Tigers, the Hawks were still nine points up but running out of steam.

A great grab above the pack to Riewoldt was followed by his fourth goal and the margin was reduced to just three points with a few minutes remaining.

I couldn’t stand much more.  I sent Bill a text.  Perhaps, being at the ground, he would have a feel for which side would get up.

“Who’s going to win?” I asked.

“Not football, that’s for sure” was all he would tell me.  He must have been watching another match.

Fortunately, even if football didn’t win on the day, at least Hawthorn did.

A last gasp effort from Sam Mitchell with a desperate tackle on Tuck as he headed for goal kept the game out of Richmond’s reach and gave the Hawks some glimmer of hope for season 2010.

And, as for Shaun Burgoyne, his 20 possessions did the number 9 (and the helmet) very proud indeed.

Richmond: 13.8 (86) defeated by Hawthorn 13.11 (89)

My Votes: Mitchell (Haw) 3, Burgoyne (Haw) 2, Cotchin (Rich) 1


Richmond: Riewoldt 4, Newman 2, Graham 2, Edwards, Jackson, Tambling, Rance, White

Hawthorn: Rioli 4, Peterson 2, Roughead 2, Franklin 2, Birchall, Lewis, Young


Richmond: Tambling (concussion)

Hawthorn: Nil

Reports: Nil

Official Crowd: 41,563 at MCG


  1. Frances Lennon says

    A very entertaining read Sasha. I really enjoyed the great imagery here. Your detailed descriptions and that bit of humour thrown in, makes for a really enjoyable and informative read. Well done!

  2. Danielle says

    ahh, Sammy Mitchell!
    What a dedicated and hungry Captain!!
    gee i love him!

    great work Sasha.


  3. Hello Sasha,
    Great read..
    Anything is possible and we will make the finals …

  4. Thanks Danni, yes that Sammy is the man! Saintly, thanks and I hope you are right, I have all fingers crossed. Cheers, Sasha

  5. ….and thanks Mum

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