Hawks leave Dons in their wake

You would reckon that when you are playing a side without their centre half forward and their full forward you would be in with a bit of a show, especially as both of these players are out and out champions. And so it was with these thoughts in mind I put on the old Essendon baggy black cap and the warm thick coat for the journey to the “G”.  Surely the Dons can turn recent form around and post a win against Hawthorn. When I took up my seat the Hawks were doing training skills on the ground in” old replica” jumpers, I can remember when I first went to a VFL game Hawthorn played with a gold “V” on their brown jumper, the following year they changed to stripes.  In those days they were the easy beats and the new jumper was to make them tougher and stronger.

Game starts and the Dons are out of the blocks with a goal to Leroy Jetta (alas in a sleeveless jumper) in less than a minute.  But what a mirage that was for the Don supporters, Hawthorn with superior speed. hand and foot skills took over and made  the rest of the quarter theirs. They looked fantastic, the only Dons who seemed to be contesting were Heath Hocking and Dyson Heppell. Thankfully the siren sounded and showed Hawthorn in front by three goals, I reckon it should have been more.

If as an Essendon supporter you thought the first quarter was bloody awful, it got worse in the second. A lot worse. So bad that about half way  through the quarter a couple of Don supporters sitting behind me tossed around the idea of going home and watching the tennis on the TV. And  few minutes later they did!  I have never left a game early but tonight I was sorely tested, Essendon were absolutely clueless, fruitlessly chasing, appealing for free kicks that weren’t there, kicking aimlessly on the very rare occasion they actually had the footy. Fair dinkum, it was embarrassing, very very embarrassing.  By half time it was Hawthorn by ten goals.

What on earth could Essendon  do in the third? They were being totally outclassed by a team that attacked the ball.  Essendon players seemed to be waiting for the ball or trying to back into their opponents which gave the Hawks the chance to run over, around and through the hapless  Dons. At one stage mid way through the term , two Essendon players on their own scrambled for the footy , when along came  a lone Hawk dived between them got the ball out to another brown and gold for yet another goal. It aptly summarised the difference between the two teams. Surely this can’t be the same team that everyone was was going bananas about six weeks ago? And yes, maybe I was one of them. At three quarter time it was Hawthorn by eleven goals.  What can Sir James and his vast band of fellow coaches do?  Maybe a last minute on field comeback from the coach.

The game was all over mid way through the second quarter, but the Hawks were good sports , they stayed around for the whole game  and even seemed to take it a little easy in the last , allowing  Essendon to score a few  late goals .  It was a total annihilation, but I sat through it, I think it made a better person of me, but I can’t be sure.

Needs to be a bit of soul searching for some of the senior players at Essendon, they may be hard at the ball but by the time they get there it’s gone. On a bright note, things can’t get worse can they?

Best for Hawthorn . Twenty two players.

Best for Essendon, just three, Heath Hocking, Leroy Jetta and Dyson Heppell.




  1. Rick Kane says

    Hi Rod

    This a Hawks fan responding (sorry). You’re right about the Bombers being clueless. They were a shambles. If there was a game plan they kept it well hidden.

    While we were very happy leaving the ground our conversation quickly turned to what it might mean, what could we take from the game. My friend and I (both Hawks fans) both agreed that there was little the Hawks could take from the game, such was the opposition. Birchell has stepped up in the absence of Gilham and Stratton and the backline is more dynamic and creative and even a little quicker because of the changes forced on it. Our mid-field is pumping (Sewell is a loss and a half). We can cop a loss or two in the next 9 games without losing momentum.

    The Bombers do need to do some soul searching as you say but I reckon they need to better align coaching expectation and player management with the players they have.


  2. Pamela Sherpa says

    Forget the soul searching – get some basics back into the game plan- such as leading into space and having a shot at goal when within scoring range. As for the playing list-James can put his stockbroking skills to work and do some serious trading. We have not recruited well for years.
    And if any assistant coaches happen to be reading this- earn your money this week and please show Paddy Ryder what the shape of a ball is – the guy has flat hands.

  3. Waddayamean ‘we haven’t recruited well for years’ Pamela?

    You got Bomber from the Cats.

    Bargain based price for a bloke who learned his trade ‘down at Kardinia Park.

Leave a Comment