Hungry Hawks Devour Demons

By Sasha Lennon

A new look Hawthorn looked like the Hawks of old in a convincing 56 point win over a shell-shocked Melbourne.

Hawthorn entered Round 1 for 2010 without Franklin, Bateman, Rioli, Sewell, Young or Taylor.  The fact that Gibson, Petersen, Kayler-Thompson and Hooper had come in to replace the 2008 premiership players gave me little cause for optimism despite the fact that a young and inexperienced Melbourne side had injury concerns of their own.

Alastair Clarkson may have been feeling a little nervous too if his decision to coach the first quarter from the bench was any indication.

I’d usually watch this match from the comfort of my Brisbane lounge room.  But with a weekend visit to Rosebud and no coverage of the match on Melbourne television, I decided to listen to the ABC’s call on my parents’ wireless.

Melbourne launched the early attack and quickly registered a couple of behinds through Green and then Davey.  Unfortunately for the Melbourne faithful, that would be all the scoring the Dees would do for some time.

Hawthorn quickly responded with a nicely executed goal on the run from Michael Osborne.  Both sides applied plenty of pressure early but soon enough the Hawks took control of proceedings.  At the seven minute mark, Ladson delivered the ball to Roughead who put the Hawks’ second through the big sticks.

While the Melbourne players maintained their intensity, this was well matched by their poor execution with a number of turnovers quickly swooped upon by the Hawks players who were far more efficient and effective with their use of the ball.

The majority of play took place in the Hawks’ forward half and at the eleven minute mark, a Morton pass to Moss resulted in Hawthorn’s third major.

Play was stopped temporarily when Melbourne’s Brad Green was injured in an accidental clash with new Hawk Kayler-Thompson.  He was stretchered off the ground with a suspected neck injury.

When play resumed, the Hawks continued to dominate proceedings with goals to Roughead and then Moss who was proving to be dangerous up forward.

Melbourne worked hard, led from the front by James McDonald, but he was having a hard task of it against an industrious Sam Mitchell and within minutes the Hawks had surged forward again, Osborne slotting through Hawthorn’s fifth followed soon after by a hard-working Campbell Brown with number six.

Melbourne looked muddled, but as it managed just its third behind for the match, the crowd had cause for relief and applause as a recovering Brad Green was reported to be up and about, jogging along the boundary line.

The Demons however remained goalless for the first term, ending the quarter with three points to Hawthorn’s six goals three.

In the second quarter the Hawks continued to dominate.  Hodge soccered through number eight for the brown and gold and then Campbell Brown delivered goal number nine.  In the words of Drew Morphett, at this point, Hawthorn was absolutely killing Melbourne.

It was not until the 17th minute of the second term that big man Mark Jamar finally booted Melbourne’s first major.  However, after Ladson and newcomer Carl Petersen added two more for the Hawks, the lead was extended to 56 points by the main break.

Through the hard running of Hodge, Mitchell and company, Hawthorn dominated proceedings in the third term.  James McDonald continued to throw himself into the contest but could not match the class of the Hawks.

The hard running of new Hawk and former Brisbane Lion Rhan Hooper was rewarded with two majors in the space of minutes, his second shepherded through by Roughead.

Brad Green then goaled for Melbourne’s third for the day and was applauded for his ability to return to the ground as much as he was for the six points.

Green scored another before the quarter was over as did Brad Miller for the Dees but as the siren sounded for three-quarter time, Melbourne was faced with a major task ahead, trailing the Hawks by 68 points.

The Demons managed to salvage some pride by winning the final term but only after the Hawks had taken their foot off the pedal.  Up until that point Hawthorn’s pressure had been relentless, something the Demons failed to match all day.

While Melbourne’s top draft picks Scully and Trengrove showed some promise (and some hope) for the Demons, it was the likes of Hawthorn’s Petersen, Gibson, Kayler-Thompson and Hooper who impressed the most with solid debuts for the brown and gold.

Melbourne: 8.13 (61) defeated by Hawthorn 17.15 (117)

My Votes: Hodge (Haw) 3, Mitchell (Haw) 2, Brown (Haw) 1


  1. Matt Cowan says

    Hi Everyone,

    I realise I am being a little bit late out of the sheds with this comment on Sasha’s article, but as a wise old head once told me, “It’s never too late to do something.”

    Now, I’m going to out myself here and state from the very beginning that Sash is a mate of mine and I would like to think we both have a healthy respect for each other, particularly when it comes to our views on footy, however divergent they may be. So with the looming clash between The Cats (my team) and The Hawks (his team) on this Holiest of weekends, I couldn’t help myself from commenting, if only to stir the pot that little bit more ;P

    Sasha certainly has an engaging style of writing that draws the reader in and offers a clear blow-by-blow account of what transpires during Hawks games, however, one questions the lopsidedness of these accounts. This can be evidenced by the ‘lexical decisions’ that he makes.

    There is no question that Melbourne is going through a horrendous period at the moment and that much of what Sash writes about them is justified, but the thing that I am left questioning is, is whether Hawthorn is really that worthy of the plaudits that Sash attributes them. While Melbourne is described as ‘shell-shocked’, ‘muddled’ and ‘salvaging pride’, Sasha describes the Hawks as ‘swooping’, ‘dominating’, and ‘relentless’ – it’s as sickening as the knock that left Brad Green off with the fairies in the first quarter. It should be expected that the Hawks would annihilate an undermanned opposition, as you would expect any other half decent team to do, so where’s the humility?

    Now, I trust you realise I’m only being facetious Sash, but I’m looking forward to some objectivity in your breakdown of the big game on Monday, because the mighty flying Hawks will be up against some real competition that has its shit together.

    Go Cats

  2. Matt,

    Here at the Footy Almanac, we take your comments seriously. I will endeavour to produce for you an unbiased account of the Hawthorn-Geelong encounter. Stay tuned.

    Yours sincerely,

    Sasha Lennon

  3. Matt Cowan says

    Thanks Sash ;)

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