Round 10 – St. Kilda v Hawthorn: Okay. We’ll take the 4 points and move on

Okay. We’ll take the 4 points and move on


It was off to Etihad for the uncomfortable 4.40 pm start, along with buses replacing trains on the Glen Waverley line. The freebie Dare iced coffee handed out on the concourse was a nice fillup. With most of the park designated ‘GA = general admittance,’ I ended up near aisle 28 at the northern end, seat B81, level 3. At 4:06 both teams were still out kicking and running. I’d seen more Hawks fans on the train from Richmond, and the section of the crowd I was in reflected that, about 70% hawks I reckon. At 4.20 Neil Roberts was interviewed on the big screen, following his Hall of Fame induction during the week. He was mentioned on the St Kilda banner (Congratulations Jack Steven 100 games, Neil Roberts Hall of Fame inductee, Tony Lockett, Hall of Fame legend,’ while the Hawthorn one congratulated Taylor Duryea on his 5oth game. A St Kilda member, Rita, appeared on the big screen celebrating her 100th birthday, which was handled well, and a nice touch. But by then it was 4:32 and the Hawks were on the ground. Keeping with the latest trend of home teams coming out last and late, the Saints emerged at 4:37. I hadn’t realised they now go with 2 mascots, a male and a female.

The Saints won the toss, and the d ball was duly bounced. The initial few minutes were to be indicative of the day. Hawthorn got the clearance, but a wayward kick inside 50 let the Saints mark, and rebound to a good grab by Bruce at the other end, and a goal. That is the Hawks seemed to be on top, but were a bit sloppy and St Kilda weren’t going to be a pushover. There was a match up of the 12s, with Frawley starting on Riewoldt. The LED screen above the interchange bench area showed the numbers of players seated there, an innovation I’d noticed at the MCG. This interchange area was now all orange, which may be new decor. Hartung was told to pay on and snapped a good goal, and the first quarter was over.

During the break the t-shirt cannon came out, and the first 2 shots both bounced off the level 2 railing, and ended up back down on level 1. Roughead seemed to be playing a bit under his best, with some clangers in the second quarter. There were also a few errant handballs from Mitchell, but he was getting so much of the ball, it didn’t matter much. At one point Hawthorn had had exactly twice as many scoring shots, and were exactly twice the Saints’ score (6 10 v 3 5,) when they should have been further ahead. At least they finished the term a bit more accurately.

At half time the screen kept repeating that there would be no kick-to-kick after the match, and I wondered if this was a renege on a previous announcement, and they were making sure everyone knew. Some big red beach balls were bounced around by the crowd, and one got up to level 2. The ground staff were handing out something to fans over the fence, maybe cakes from one of the Saints’ sponsors (?) Terry Wallace was interviewed, and his earlier prediction of ‘hawks 3 goals better per quarter’ had turned out pretty accurate. The umpires emerged at 6:00, and both teams came out shortly after with no subs made to that point.

Soon into the quarter Hodge became the Hawks 9th goal kicker, and I was wondering if Clarkson was experimenting with always keeping someone in the Hawks’ forward half to capitalise on turnovers. Rioli did a great second effort, but the subsequent kick from Hill was less than brilliant. Schoenmakers became the first multiple goal kicker for the Hawks, and by the end of the quarter Roughead was the 11th goal kicker. Montagna did an interesting tap down regrab and kick a goal, but had it crossed the line? During this quarter I noticed that Schoenmakers was also in defense up the northern end, and could only conclude Lake must have been moved to full-forward, as he wasn’t on the interchange bench. Interesting.

At three quarter time Shane Warne in an interview mentioned a legends fame/kick. But if that was on before the main match I’d completely missed any earlier reference to it. But the possibility fits in with the crowd size when I’d entered. It came up that Lake was subbed off at three quarter time. Roughead finally nailed a set shot, and the Hawks powered away during the final quarter. I don’t recall seeing any stats on the screen during the match, but reckoned the free kick count was probably decidedly in the Hawks favour judging from what I’d been able to see, and the comments from fans around me listening to the radio or watching apps.

After the match I could hear that Steven received a medal, just over the gunshot-like noise of thunder sticks being jumped on. I don’t know if a Hawthorn player got a similar medal, or if there was the only one presentation. In the end the Hawks got the job done, with a bit of a percentage boost, but more importantly 8 points from two weeks’ work for a change. With no injuries, here’s to the bye, and moving on and upwards in the rest of the season.


St Kilda 10 9 69

Hawthorn 20 12 132


Goals: St Kilda Bruce, Savage, Sinclair 2, Riewoldt, Montagna, Longer, Shenton 1

Hawthorn: Gunston, Roughead 3, Hodge, Schoenmakers, Shiels, Hill 2, Hartung, Lewis, Rioli, Breust, Duryea, Smith 1


Best: Hawthorn Mitchell, Hodge, Hartung, Ceglar

St Kilda: Steven, Montagna, Ray


My votes: 3 Mitchell 2 Hodge 1 Steven


Crowd: 33 886 (when announced, the Saints also thanked their 7892 members who had attended. I guess that means the 26 994remaining were Hawks members and fans, or just general admittance patrons, who may follow the Saints, but are not members.)

About Alan Stewart

My first VFL memory is perched on my grandfather's shoulders watching a game at Glenferrie Oval during the school holidays, probably about 1968. Other football immersion is from many hours assisting my father doing maintenance or selling savs at the Tarrawingee football ground during the 1970s.

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