Preliminary Finals – Fremantle v Hawthorn: Predictable


Fremantle v Hawthorn

8.20pm, Friday 25th September, Subiaco

Sasha Lennon



As the week-long wait drew to a close and the game-day anticipation built, my early Friday afternoon text exchange with a fellow Hawthorn supporter – we’ll call him ‘Ned’ to protect his identity – read as follows:


Ned: Very nervous! Just want to be with them at half time. They always fall away. Go Hawks!


Me: I’m not nervous. I reckon Hawks will smother Dockers, free themselves up and kick goals. Hawthorn by 27. Go Hawks!


Some say the Hawks are machine-like boring, predictable even. I’ll always argue against the Hawthorn haters. My view is they adjust as-needed to the situation at hand to get the job done and done well – one soldier is replaced by another and all that.


Perhaps they’re right.


Fremantle threatened to overrun the Hawks early, their coup de main maybe engineered to stun the Hawks, who were being attacked on two fronts having to also withstand the artillery barrage being launched from behind the fence. At times, it got ugly with Isaac Smith and Luke Breust both bearing the brunt of the home crowd’s heated verbal and borderline-physical attacks.


Meanwhile, on the field, Ballantyne harassed Hawthorn’s best with unbridled enthusiasm while Michael Walters opened the Dockers’ account followed by Jonathon Griffin just a minute or so later. Even watching the match from home in Brisbane the noise of the crowd provided all the atmosphere we could handle.


Hawthorn would not be rattled. A couple of arguable free kicks resulted in goals to Smith and Hale (there would be plenty of others to argue which went Freo’s way as well).


Then, led by the brilliance of Sam Mitchell and the presence of Luke Hodge, the Hawks got going. The visitors quickly lifted their work rate and attack inside 50, in the process silencing the hostile crowd with goals to Breust and Suckling followed by Schoenmakers who was doing everything to convince the coach he should be playing the following Saturday.


The Dockers appeared to be winning more of the ball but the Hawks were being more (predictably) clinical in their rebound out of defence and their forward thrusts, Brian Lake included.


With a three goal lead the Hawks looked like they might inch away with Schoenmakers again bobbing up for a goal (pencil him in). Then the Dockers fought back, Walters and Stephen Hill doing a lot of the work. Admittedly, Fyfe was impressive on just one leg.


But thanks to that predictable efficiency, Hawthorn kept its nose in front, another goal to Roughead (who is getting better with each final) maintaining that roughly three goal margin at the main break.


Again the Dockers started better than the Hawks with the first goal of the third to Ballantyne. But the Hawks had all the answers through Cyril, Bradley Hill and Big Boy McEvoy.


The Dockers were able to absorb the Hawthorn attack and respond with a couple of goals. Just as things appeared to be tightening up, Suckling speared a booming shot on the siren to give the Hawks a (foreseeable) three goal lead at the final break.


Again Freo struck first in the final term with Walters proving to be one of Fremantle’s biggest contributors of the night.


Just as Freo looked like they might challenge Hawthorn to the last, young Sheridan did what one simply cannot do when playing a side of Hawthorn’s calibre – he dropped what should have been a regulation mark at centre half back, allowing Cyril to swoop and snap from about 45 metres out. The ball bounced through and Fremantle’s collective head dropped.


With about 15 minutes left, the Hawks had the sniff they needed. They’d go in for the kill. And they did. Another snap-shot goal from Cyril as well as goals to Roughead and an impressive Taylor Duryea put the game beyond doubt.


Fremantle snuck in a late one through Walters but in the end the Hawks maintained control by smothering the Dockers and freeing themselves up to kick goals, delivering a predictable 27 point victory and the chance to play off for a third successive premiership.


So what’s my prediction for the big day? Under a clear blue sky, Hawthorn will hit hard early, matching the Eagles’ manic attack on everything in the opening minutes; then wrest control of the play with ferocious pressure, pin-point passing and some big running goals late in the first. The remainder will be predictable, boring even. Hawthorn by 47.



Fremantle     2.1   4.4   8.4    10.7  (67)

Hawthorn     5.2   7.2  11.3   15.4  (94)


 Walters 3, Griffin 2, Hill, Pavlich, Ballantyne, Barlow, Mayne
Hawthorn: Rioli 3, Schoenmakers 2, Suckling 2, Roughead 2, Smith, Hale, Breust, Hill, McEvoy, Duryea

 Spurr, Walters, Fyfe, Ibbotson, Mundy, Griffin
Hawthorn: Mitchell, Duryea, Hodge, Gibson, Rioli, Stratton, Suckling

Umpires: Dalgleish, Stevic, Rosebury


Official Crowd: 41,508 at Domain Stadium


Our Votes: Mitchell (Haw) 3, Duryea (Haw) 2, Rioli (Haw) 1




  1. Go Hawks. Nice that they finally avoided a heartstopper prelim.

  2. daniel flesch says

    Hawthorn by 47 , Sasha ? A trifle optimistic i suspect. Though all Hawthorn players , staff and supporters wish the popular Schoey well , he’s still not totally dependable . He drops marks he should take and is something of a cougher-upper , unfortunately. If Gunston’s good to go i doubt they’ll pick Shoey , but if he’s in it’ll be fingers crossed in our lounge room.

  3. Good story Sash…. no need to relay all those other texts! Let’s hope for good Brian this Saturday…. and a win of 23 points. … I’ll bet you a chocolate babka!! :)

  4. jordan lewis gets two votes against north in the same game he whacked todd goldstein? Perplexed

  5. Of course, I agree with every word you say Sasha, you are rarely wrong. Go Hawks!

  6. Well covered Sasha, it was almost as if you were cheekily responding to another perceived attack on our beloved Hawks, with our usual efficiency. Our kicking won us the game. I don’t know the last time we scored so cleanly. And pretty much each goal was a beauty, none better, IMHO, that Doc’s in the Last.

    47 points win against the Evils you reckon? Mmmm. I’d like to think so.


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