Round 10 – Sydney v Hawthorn: No More Excuses

7:50pm, Friday 26 May

SCG, Sydney

Daniel Saunders (age 15)

The bye could not come soon enough for us, the dejected supporters of the Swans.

Here we are, in a pretty awkward position on the ladder, having lost to Hawthorn, when we had the game fair and square, only to be finished off by Jarryd Roughead. All credit to him for kicking the matchwinner, having been diagnosed with melanoma, and having not played at all last year.

But ultimately, we lost a game we should have won. The first quarter did not go smoothly. Hawthorn were very efficient inside 50, and Luke Breust had them rollicking. They had kicked five goals to two by quarter time. Those two having been kicked by none other than our own Buddy.

The second quarter is a lot better, at least initially. We kick the first two through skipper Kennedy, and young gun Tom Papley. Unfortunately, from that point in time, Hawthorn kick the next three, to leave us chasing the game, with another half of football still to play. Out of those three goals, two were kicked within the last two minutes, leaving us 21 points down at the main change.

We are easily relying too much on our Bondi Billionaire Buddy. We had such an even spread of goalkickers last week, with a total of twelve. I expect us to lift in the premiership quarter. The Hawks have struggled all year in this quarter. And we do a lot better in that quarter. We kick five goals to two, three of those to Buddy. This leaves him the frontrunner in the Coleman race, outright 10th spot of all time AFL goalkickers, and he has kicked his fifth goal for the night. Buddy will definitely reach 1000 by career’s end, and he will go down as a champion of the game.

Two of those goals have come right at the end of the quarter, meaning we are back within a goal. Hawthorn supporters will be ropeable. I am ecstatic. We can pull this off. Four in a row is on the cards.

The fourth quarter could not start any better for us, with Isaac Heeney kicking two in as many minutes, giving us a lead of eight points. We are two men down as well, without Lloyd and Reid. Hawthorn look tired and out of steam. With only minutes to go, we are seven points ahead. Hawthorn need two goals to win.


Enter Silk Burgoyne. Every time Clarko needs someone to stand up, it is always him. And his composure across half forward hurts us. He kicks a vital goal, which is followed by a rushed behind. It is all square. And we could easily have won the game after this.


We have a great opportunity. Callum Mills, 40 metres out, has the opportunity to score. Any score would do. Unfortunately, he tries to pass to Oliver Florent. It goes over his head, and this releases Hawthorn into a slingshot. Had he scored as much as a behind, we would have had time to get our formation together, and slow the Hawks down.


But Roughead takes a mark at the other end. Hannebery, who is standing the mark, decides to take three steps back, giving Roughie three extra metres, and he nails the goal as a result.


Can we make finals still? Highly unlikely. But never rule the Swans out. Nobody likes to play the Swans when at peak form. The last three weeks have been a great reflection of that. Our great form is as good as anybody’s in the competition.


Until such time it is mathematically impossible to rule us out of finals, you cannot do so just yet. But I will concede that it will take something of a miracle, especially from 3-7. Where to start? First of all, we need to find out how to win these close games. Decision-making has been a factor that has counted against us in red time. Like Richmond, we need to find a way to shake these bad habits.


There are three games that are especially challenging: Geelong, GWS and Adelaide, all away from home. We are two games out of the eight right now, so Round 12 against the Bulldogs is a must win. In fact, all our home games are must wins. If we do end up winning that game, and get our form back together, we may be able to win one of those tough games.


Ultimately, we can only afford to lose two more games if we are to make finals. Lose to the Bulldogs in two weeks time, and I would be willing to rule out finals. But not just yet. Nobody has ever revived their season from 3-7, but records are there to be made.


Now, it is the Swans’ turn. No more excuses. No backing out. Mission improbable awaits, so let’s just do it.


SYDNEY      2.4   4.6   9.7   11.9 (75)
HAWTHORN   5.1   8.3  10.6  12.9 (81)

Sydney: Franklin 5; Heeney 2; Papley, Kennedy, Jones, Rohan
Hawthorn: Bruest 3; Burgoyne, Whitecross 2; Gunston, Puopolo, Sicily, Cousins, Roughead

Sydney: Franklin, Hannebery, Kennedy, Heeney, Rampe, Smith
Hawthorn: Burgoyne, Shiels, Mitchell, Smith, Burton, Hodge

UMPIRES: Donlon, Fisher, Rosebury                                        CROWD: 36 221

OUR VOTES: Shiels (Haw) 3, Burgoyne (Haw) 2, Kennedy (Syd) 1

About Daniel Saunders

I have been an AFL fanatic and Swans supporter for most of my life, much to the dismay of those around me; they never hear the end of it! What else do you expect from New South Wales school life?


  1. Sydney really threw that one away, Daniel.
    No wonder Horse Longmire was not happy.
    And what was Callum Mills thinking?

  2. Mathilde de Hauteclocque says

    Hi Daniel,
    It was a tough one to lose, huh? Made for a long weekend. Poor Millsy! Imagine the sleepless night he had after that!
    Perhaps it’s best not to view this season through the ‘Finals’ filter. I have kind of let go of the finals as the goal and just want to see them play well, have a good teaching/learning season for the kids, keep the intention right.
    Enjoy the weekend off!

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