Hawks Home In A Classic

by Sasha Lennon

I was worried about the Hawks. Carlton had a confident buzz about them, as they have all year. I could almost feel it from my Brisbane lounge room as I made myself a coffee to aid the concentration and then took my place on the couch as the players took to the field. Coming into this game the Hawks were starting to gather their 2009 momentum, but Carlton looked purposeful. Compounding the Blues fans’ expectations was the added inspiration provided by the recent passing of club benefactor Richard Pratt. Carlton would come out firing.

With the opening bounce, Carrazzo attempted to surgically attach himself to Luke Hodge and for a short while the General’s natural play was stifled while the Blues took control. A couple of goals capped by Fev’s beautifully timed snap to bounce between the posts and I felt the need for another coffee – two shots this time. As the milk frothed I contemplated moving on to something harder to calm the nerves. This could be a long afternoon for the brown and gold. Enter Jarryd Roughead. In fact it was only about three minutes into the game when Roughy popped through his first. He was in scintillating form, the sort that earns full forwards Brownlow votes, and he only got better throughout the day. By quarter’s end he had four to his name, one of them following a spectacular one-handed grab by the big man.

As the quarter progressed so did the Hawks and by the first break it was Clarko’s boys by 10 points. While Roughead had his four, Buddy was yet to join the party, while our man Dowler had racked up a handy 11 possessions. For the Blues, Brendan Fevola had a chance to close the gap with a shot after the siren but his banana kick from the boundary line simply wasn’t straight enough. (But there would be plenty more Fev moments to come).

As the second quarter got underway Judd was finding some run with Fev leading beautifully. He scored with a couple of nice long bombs but a miss from straight in front made one question that grip. Carlton got the first through Stevens but the Hawks quickly took back the momentum with young Dowler in the thick of it again. Hodge was getting frustrated but the Hawks seemed to be having the game their way. When Dew slotted one through basked in the early afternoon sunlight, I could only be reminded of his purple patch that final Saturday last September.

The Blues had it up forward for more of the quarter but were failing to capitalise. When Hawthorn’s number 2 put through his sixth, things were looking ominous and by half time it was the Hawks by nine. While Judd had been busy for the Blues, Dowler the apprentice continued his first quarter work rate for a total of 17 touches to half time.

The Hawks looked like running away with it early in the third, extended their lead with an opportunistic goal from young Moss, but other Hawthorn opportunities went begging while Fevola and big Irishman O’hAilpin inspired the Blues’ faithful. At the end of the term it was Hawthorn leading by a solitary point.

The last was set to be a cracker and indeed it was. Roughead opened with his seventh and then big Lance Franklin, who had been the quiet counter-weight to Roughead’s avalanche of goals bombed one through from a set shot tight on the boundary line, rivalling Fev’s first quarter snap for goal of the afternoon. The momentum went up a notch and the likes of Sewell, Judd and Mitchel seemed to be in everything (as they had been all day). The Hawks kicked the next few but Carlton would not go away, Simpson and Fevola keeping it close. (Coffee was of little use to me now). With only seconds left, Fevola had an opportunity to play the hero (as if booting eight goals is not enough) with a set shot from about 20 metres straight out in front. It looked good off the boot but snicked the post at the last and so Carlton’s fate on this day (but certainly not the season) was sealed. Hawthorn by four points.

This had been a game to rival any we’re likely to see this year and in the battle of the full forwards, Roughead took the honours and the prize for best on ground, taking home the David Parkin Medal…..and I grabbed myself a well-earned beer.

Hawthorn: 16.10 (106)

Carlton: 15.12 (102)

My Votes: Roughead 3; Sewell 2; Mitchell 1


  1. Matt Cowan says

    Yes, it was a great game to watch (for the second Saturday arvo in a row)and the couch will need new springs after I jumped high and landed hard when the young rookie took them on, delivered to Fev, and then he…missed it. It was just one of those games that leaves you not knowing what to do with yourself afterwards, you find yourself pumped (I even snapped a couch cushion through the doorway for a goal), but at the same time drained and looking for somewhere to rest and ponder the rest of the season, particularly if the Hawks had lost. Roughead did play an exceptional game which allowed that ridiculous Buddy character to get away with some ridiculuos decision making (remember the fend off and the kick after the whistle late in the final term?). But, Sasha, for mine, I just couldn’t go past Chris Judd for my best – he created so much play and along with Murphy, they would have to be one of the hardest running duos in the comp. Sewell was awesome and probably deserved a couple of votes, but how do you separate Roughead and Fev on the day? If only Fev had kicked it…

  2. The Howorth Doctrine says

    And it was a great game to hear. Here in the ACT, tuned into the ABC coverage, scooting off to pick up the missus from an art workshop, catching the final 15 minutes, listening to the charge of the blues, the whispers, groans then roars of the crowd as passages of play were sewn together into goals, fev’s anguish described, the rock stadium solid roar of the relieved hawks fans as the siren placed the full stop on a quarter that had gone on way too long for the weak of heart…

    I loitered in the car too long to catch the dying seconds as the missus unpacked… oh the grip of the close game (as a Tiger fan something I miss), so strong it places very happy marriages at risk

    Gerard Whateley is a great caller, a special caller, the way he uses a lilting tone, placing emphasis where it needs to be (unlike Rex whose premature ejaculatory adjectives scream out impotence). Listening to him call this game was as close as I’ll get to devine coverage here in the ACT, that most impoverished of AFL coverage markets… more about that later

    Great review Sasha.

  3. I agree Matt, Judd had a day out as he often does. I almost gave him the one vote in place of Mitchel, it was close, but victory (and bias) always adds weight…as Fev would vouch. (Apportionment of the simultaneous elation and disappointment of many thousands hangs on the thread of a poorly tied bootlace perhaps…or just a strange grip)?

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