Round 14 – Adelaide v Hawthorn: Revenge Ripped from the Menu


Thursday night footy on the whole is a concept I generally enjoy. It can bring on that coveted weekend vibe 24 hours early, and when your mob gets up it can lengthen the warm winner’s glow right through the traditionally laborious Friday working day and on into the weekend, watching other teams toil away for their 4 points while you are safe in the knowledge that your lads have already banked theirs.


Unfortunately there is a flipside to this, and that is that Thursday night footy also seems to exacerbate a loss should that be the result that befalls your chosen tribe. After all, footy on a ‘school night’ like this presents a reasonable logistical challenge for your average punter what with work and family commitments, and the inevitable late to bed followed by the early rise to meet the responsibilities of the final working day of the week. To spectate live at the ground on a Thursday night involves a fair amount of effort given that you have to remain partially ‘chained to the wheel’. So when this extra effort is not rewarded with victory the post loss doldrums are generally amplified as well – the Friday drag becomes an eternity, and watching other teams bag their 4 points over the weekend delivers repeated painful reminders of your own side’s inability to do so.


On this occasion I take my seat at the glorious Adelaide Oval supremely confident that my effort on this Thursday night will be rewarded, hopefully handsomely. It is a dry night, the air crisp and clear, and the ground is filling with thousands of people carrying the same air of confidence as I do. After all, the Hawks have been a shadow of their former selves this year and, while Adelaide aren’t in the sparkling form they were in the first month or so of the season, they still occupy top of the ladder and on their home deck tonight it’s hard to see how Hawks will leave the ‘happy team’ their song suggests they are. In fact, after copping it from this mob for the best part of a decade now, I’d suggest most Adelaide fans are looking forward to dining out on some wounded Hawk tonight. They say revenge is a dish best served cold, and a clear winter’s night in Adelaide has provided the perfect conditions to make this metaphor a reality.


The game starts and Hawthorn burst out the blocks. They have definitely turned up to the contest and start with the first couple of goals. They look sharp and switched on, but I remain unconcerned. They may win a quarter or two tonight, but they won’t go the journey. Adelaide square the ledger and the teams are at an even pegging at quarter time in was has been a highly entertaining affair so far.


Adelaide start to assert themselves in the second quarter, but their inefficiency coupled with the efficiency of the Hawks sees things stay tight. In the shadows of half time however the twin towers of Jenkins and Walker emerge, a trademark Walker bomb from 60 metres closing out the half and giving Adelaide momentum and a 3 goal lead. The Hawks will surely wilt in the second half from here.


Alas, the third term sees this Hawthorn side scrap and fight, and they stick with Adelaide like excrement to the proverbial blanket. More than that – they start to take control of the game, choking up Adelaide’s run and carry, and setting up a wall that keeps the ball squarely in the Hawks attacking half for the majority of the quarter. A late peach from Greenwood (what a find this kid has been) keeps Adelaide in front on the scoreboard, but at the last change I finally begin to question whether my effort this night will be rewarded after all.


My questions become answers as the Hawks continue to play with an intensity rarely seen from them this season. In what would have to be their best game of the year, they work system and structure across the ground to reduce every Adelaide forward foray into a coughing, spluttering affair. When each fizzes out with the inevitable turnover, the ball is tucked under a Hawk wing and moved from coast to coast easily, gracefully, and more often than not with a touch of Burgoyne silk.


Ex-Crow Ricky Henderson ices the game in the dying moments and a chorus of flipping seats ripples around the ground as a disappointed supporter base makes for the exits in order to ‘beat the traffic’.


I stick it out and listen to the strains of the happy team’s song as they quite rightly celebrate their victory, and then slowly make my way back to the bus home.


My ears catch the usual comments as I navigate my way through the throng – Adelaide are ‘soft’, their midfield is lacking, the captain is not assertive enough, the coach has no plan B. All standards from the familiar post-match fan song book, but for mine not really on the mark this time around. This was less an Adelaide loss and more a Hawthorn win, due in part to their master coach, but mostly to the near perfect execution by their mix of talented youth and wily old dogs.


Revenge was cruelly pulled from the menu again.


I sit on a bus full of long faces, shaking heads, and minds filled with lament – our own team’s efforts, the rotten luck of catching Hawthorn of one of their rare good weeks, and the unpleasant prospect of a long Friday and a flat weekend.


ADELAIDE      4.2   9.4  10.6  12.10 (82)

HAWTHORN   4.2   6.4   9.7   14.12 (96)



Adelaide: Jenkins 3, Walker 2, Greenwood 2, Cameron, B.Crouch, Betts, Lynch, Otten

Hawthorn: O’Brien 2, Burton 2, Puopolo 2, Henderson 2, Roughead, Langford, O’Brien, Hartung, Mitchell, Burgoyne



Adelaide: M.Crouch, Greenwood, Laird, Talia, Lynch

Hawthorn: Henderson, Mitchell, Burgoyne, Birchall, Burton, Hardwick



Adelaide: Milera (knee), Brown (ankle)

Hawthorn: Nil


Reports: Nil


Umpires: Fisher, Margetts, Meredith


Official crowd: 45,312


OUR VOTES      Henderson (Hawthorn) 3, M Crouch (Adelaide) 2, Burgoyne (Hawthorn) 1.


About Ben Footner

I'm tragic Crows fan, avid lawn bowler, public librarian and father of 2 little kiddies. Sometimes I also find time amongst all that to squeeze out the occasional article for the Almanac.


  1. Joe De Petro says

    ……..Like excrement on the proverbial blanket.


  2. Peter Warrington says

    in the immortal words of Matthew Slaughter in Trust, I like librarians!

  3. Peter Fuller says

    You’ve captured perfectly the psychological impact of the two-edged sword of a Thursday night loss or win, which is of course an exacerbated version of the Friday night version – which is good (or bad) enough. You were stiff to run into the Hawks in form. They interrupted Sydney’s run at the SCG recently also, proving how pronounced is the gap between their best and worst (refer Gold Coast, St. Kilda, Melbourne, Geelong).
    Your Crows still have a bit to prove, but they have banked some priceless points in this remarkably even season.

  4. Peter Schumacher says

    I guess that I am joining the herd on this one but my initial thought on this one was “Good old Adelaide, once again they have been found wanting when it really counts, how often has this happened”

    As for Taylor Walker marking and passing off in the last quarter, I can only compare that effort with Jonathon Thurston’s effort in State of Origin 2 with that last conversion whilst 82,000 were willing the kick to fail. Taylor Walker is a good captain but a great captain would have taken that kick and arced it across the stratosphere as Thurston did. The Crows would have been one point down, and we saw how Sydney finished last night.

  5. Ben Footner says

    Yes you’re probably right Peter, he should have taken the kick, but I honestly believe that a lot of the time after a loss we forget that another team out there, and Hawthorn turned back the clock on Thursday night.

    Observations on Adelaide though:
    1) Having Otten, Walker & Jenkins in the same forward line is too top heavy – it’s okay if they’re taking the grabs but when things aren’t so easy and the ball is hitting the deck they are too slow to bring the defensive pressure required.
    2) Dropping Reilly Knight was a mistake, it should have been Beech.
    3) We desperately need McGovern back in (these three points are all related – Knight & McGovern much better when the opposition has the ball).
    4) Talia is having a rough season, I’m not sure why it’s not being talked about more TBH.
    5) Our mids were pretty good I thought, Greenwood is a beauty and the Crouch boys are developing nicely.
    6) Pike should consider making Sloane tag an opponent I reckon. He is a tackling machine and would make things really difficult for the opposition matchup wise if he followed another player while they tried to put the clamps on him.

  6. Dave Brown says

    Ben, the most level headed assessment I’ve read thus far (very tired of the reaction every time the Crows lose) and entirely agree with all of your points in the above comment. Personally, I felt the biggest misstep was allowing Hodge to be loose in the second half. He was a liability in the first when held accountable. Moving Sloane onto him in the second rather than allowing the 2nd loose player would’ve made Hawthorn’s life a lot harder..

  7. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    Is McGovern ready to return? He’d be much better value than Jenkins. And one of Milera or Cameron needs to make way. How would Greenwood go up forward?

  8. Daniel Flesch says

    Thanks Ben .Accurately described and very well written .

  9. Ben agree with some of your thoughts I thought re this game unfortunately our own coaching box imcompetence was a huge part of the loss agree with your thoughts re 1,23 and 6 disagree 4 and 5 above thank you

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