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Round 14 – Sydney v Hawthorn: Never dies, always fights.

By Caspar McLeod.
Sydney vs Hawthorn, S.C.G.



Sydney is proving one thing, again and again and again. We are a team that never lies down and gives in. We are a team that will fight and scrape until it is no longer possible we’re going to win the flag. And even then, we keep doing so. It’s the attitude that has won us two flags this century after decades of nothing. It’s taken us from the brink of financial ruins several times to being one of the most recognisable teams in the country of any sports.


It’s this attitude that has allowed us to thrive in a city where the AFL is otherwise an after-thought (sorry, Giants), in which you’re more likely to hear about how bad the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs are going instead of how badly the Western Bulldogs are going.


And it is this attitude… that sees us keep our finals hopes alive.


Sitting down to watch this game with Dad in Dubai after six months in Australia, I feel nervous. We normally struggle against Hawthorn. Post 2014 grand final has seen a period of time where the Hawks have dominated the Swans in terms of games won between the teams. And yet it’s always close. Well, usually always. We never seem to smash them and they only rarely smash us. Our three black cats, or the black octopus as they have been called, aren’t helping the nerves as they walk across the keyboard, momentarily pausing the game.


Turns out I had nothing to worry about.


We dominate the first quarter. Buddy is on fire (he usually is against his old team) and the Hawks seem a world away from even the team that made the semi final last year, let alone won the threepeat earlier this decade (what a terrible time that was).


And yet, we should be leading by more.


Should I be worried about this?


Maybe. The Hawks control the second, stifling our ball movement that was so lethal in the first. Thank goodness they now have the yips in front of goal. We head into halftime just ahead.


The second half? We are playing like kings. It’s 2012 all over again with how much the red and white dominate.


It speaks volumes to how brilliantly we played that I am disappointed we only win by 19 points. Earlier this year I would have done just about anything to grab a win of that margin, or of any margin.
We keep our season alive, even as Buddy trudges off the field, his 300th game now looking to be delayed.


The Hawks? What to make of them? I’m not sure they’re finals-bound this year. Maybe we aren’t, either.


But I know we’ll give it a good shake. Why? Because we keep on fighting until it’s physically impossible to continue to do so.


And I know this attitude, this culture of ours, will net us a third flag this century soon enough.


SYDNEY          6.1       7.4       8.9       12.10 (82)
HAWTHORN    3.1       6.3       7.7       9.9 (63)


Sydney: Franklin 4, Papley 2, Hayward 2, Blakey 2, Menzel, Sinclair
Hawthorn: Sicily, O’Meara, Ceglar, Breust, Henderson, Roughead, Gunston, Impey, Shiels


Sydney: Parker, Franklin, Rampe, Blakey, Jones
Hawthorn: O’Meara, Henderson, Shiels, Glass


Sydney: Franklin (left hamstring), Sinclair (head)
Hawthorn: Nil


Reports: Nil


Umpires: Power, O’Gorman, Harris, Ryan


Official crowd: 29,553 at the SCG




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About Caspar McLeod

Third Culture Kid at Heart. Grew up in Asia, discovered footy at age 9. AFL has since been my burning passion. Ask me who were the winners all the grand finals between 1938 and last year's decider, and I'll be happy to tell you. I'm a footy nut with a passion for writing and acting. All though I love writing and acting, during the footy season, AFL is my true passion. Waiting ever so patiently for the day when Essendon Next win the flag.

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