Almanac Poetry: The Drop Kick


The Drop Kick


by Philip Hodgins


Extinct in the big league
because the extra time it takes
can get you unloaded
the drop kick is still alive
on a country ground
if the weather’s right.
To shoot for goal with one
the way Jack Savage used to do
is a sign of confidence.
He could do it easily
from centre half-forward
and the story goes he did it once
from out on the wing.
his greatest moment
was winning the ’59 Grand Final with one –
a running roost in time-on.
It was poetry all the way –
seventy yards and spinning like a boomerang.
Not bad for a thirty-four-year-old
who played the second half
with a broken rib.
Today, from the noise and warmth
of the J.W. Savage Stand
the drop kick looks a piece of cake
to these half-pissed farmers’ sons.
They’re going to take the field
at half time in a ritual display.
Will anyone tell them the risk?
It’s usually embarrassment –
a grubber off the side of the boot.
But sometimes it’s worse.



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  1. DBalassone says

    How well does Hodgins depict rural life? ‘Shooting the Dogs’ is another beauty that springs to mind.
    Got me thinking, when was the last dropkick in a VFL/AFL game. Was it Jezza after the siren in the drawn ’72 Second Semi? Before my time.

  2. matt watson says

    The last deliberate drop kick in a VFL/AFL game was by Barry Cable in the last quarter (I’m sure it was the last quarter) of the 1977 grand final replay.

  3. DBalassone says

    Thanks Matt, now that I come to think about it, that rings a bell. I think Alistair Lynch might have also used a drop kicked a goal in the goal square in the 90s – just for fun in the last quarter of a dead game (might have been his Roys days).
    There’s another poem by Hodgins about drop kicks by the way:

  4. Keiran Croker says

    Paul Goss, brother of Norm was a beautiful drop kick. He played a handful of games for Melbourne in the late 70s. I can recall him kicking a long left foot drop kick for a set shot goal at the G in this period.
    A number of Port Melbourne players were excellent drop kicks in 70s and early 80s in VFA.

  5. Kevin Densley says

    Wonderful Hodgins poem! It has a great ending, too!

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