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Round 14 – Sydney v Hawthorn: One of the pleasures of life, beating Hawthorn!

The heading itself could be repeated and repeated, taking up an entire A4 page, but, you get my gist.

The sentiment applies at any time, but especially this week; a week in which that football club embarrassed itself big time. Not only did their captain do despicable things on the footy ground, and only receive a two–week ban, but their President, Jeff Kennett, put his foot in his mouth again, evoking racist overtones about the employees of Marvel Stadium.

To give their players credit, it was a wonderful call by them to pay tribute to Adam Goodes before the game at the SCG on Friday night, having admitted they could have done more at the time of the consistent booing. The Age had reported on Friday morning that the players would wear No 37 in their warm–up before the game. It was also reported that some of the club’s members were extremely unhappy with the players’ gesture, and threatened to tear up their memberships.

I only have one message to those disgruntled Hawthorn supporters: “Go ahead, tear up your memberships, and never come back to the footy – at least the rest of us can then enjoy the game without your abhorrent racist attitudes”. (And that would apply to all other clubs’ supporters who took apparent pleasure in booing one of the greatest indigenous champions of the game.)


Gradually adjusting to Melbourne’s weather – especially this recent cold snap – we headed off to Sydney on Friday afternoon, expecting a typical Sydney almost–winter’s day: 20 degrees and sunshine! Alas, it was a coolish 16 degrees and a cold bitter wind that persisted until late Saturday afternoon when we boarded the flight back to an even colder Melbourne. The weather will take some time getting used to, but I will, I have to!

The footy, however, made up for any small discomfort like a temperature or a cold wind. With just 48 seconds off the clock, we had our first goal: Parker to Papley to Franklin. It was perfect! 120 seconds later, Heaney, Florent, Jones and Papley combine for another. Perfect! Paps is involved again six minutes later, kicking it forward to a running Menzel in the goal square. Another goal. Almost perfect, had Sicily not intervened and kicked their first a minute or so beforehand. Heywood misses but makes up for it with his first goal off the ground after a rare misunderstanding between Paps and Buddy. Our champ adds another after a pin–point pass from Jones, snapping around his body, on the run, 30 metres out. Hawthorn add a couple of majors as we head into the second term 18 points up.

Our intensity drops off a bit this quarter, despite another goal to Buddy a minute into its start. This turns out to be our only six–pointer in the period, while Hawthorn adds 3.2. A seven–point lead is slightly worrying, remembering only too well our recent encounters with this mob.

The third quarter is a dour affair, each team managing only a goal apiece. Our five behinds told a tale. What stood out for me during this 30 minutes was Aliir Aliir kicking the ball straight to the opposition on three occasions – rare misjudgements from a normally precision–perfect practitioner; Buddy going off injured; and Hawthorn’s only goal, coming on the siren, rolling through the big sticks with not a Swan in sight. A rare oversight by our defenders, as we head into the last term.

With Buddy now off, Blakey and Reid need to spark. They have been quiet. The former does just what is required in the last term, taking spectacular marks, kicking two crucial goals, and showing the class we all know he possesses. Callum Sinclair also excels, marking strongly and goalling early in the quarter. But, sadly, he then smashes his face into the turf attempting another mark, and groggily jogs off. The pictures on the big screen show a very confused and upset man, desperately wanting to continue in his milestone match, but eventually resigning himself to the concussion scenario and protocol. Meanwhile, Will Heywood soccers one off the ground in the goal square, and we’re now feeling pretty confident with our 24–point lead and not long to go. Jarman Impey, whose words about Adam Goodes, quoted in The Age on 21 June, were spot–on and inspiring, reduces our lead and the siren sounds a few minutes later.

Impey’s comments need reiterating: “I’m sure, just like anything you put out, there’s going to be mixed emotions. All I can say is take a breath, have the chance to have a look at it [the documentary] and see what it’s like in his shoes, experience that, and see what your thoughts are afterwards. I highly recommend everyone in the nation can watch it because it’s very powerful.”

Shaun Burgoyne, one of their captains, also said in the article: “With Adam’s documentary coming out, it was a good chance to reflect on where we are as an industry and where we’ve come from. On reflection, clubs and players have come out and admitted that at the time, our response wasn’t good enough. Obviously we can’t turn back time, but as we’re playing Sydney in Sydney this Friday night, we thought it was a perfect opportunity to show our support for Adam publicly. We want to show that we’re all beside him, united in stamping out racism.”

With those words still ringing in my ears, I rejoice in our 19–point victory. It is very welcome. In fact it is more than welcome – it is to be celebrated and cheer cheered: It is against Hawthorn – and as you already know, winning against them is one of the pleasures of life!

Go the Mighty Bloods!


Our writers are independent contributors. The opinions expressed in their articles are their own. They are not the views, nor do they reflect the views, of Malarkey Publications.


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About Jan Courtin

A Bloods tragic since first game at Lake Oval in 1948. Moved interstate to Sydney to be closer to beloved Swans in 1998. My book "My Lifelong Love Affair with the Swans" was launched by the Swans at their headquarters at the SCG in August 2016.


  1. Debby Ross says

    A great summation Jan – if it wasn’t for their feral supporters we may not have the entrenched loathing that we have for their club!
    I wasn’t aware of the Impey and Burgoyne comments – thx.
    I’m coming down for the Essendon game and will finally meet my friend Rhonda Carson, at the pre-match function. Hope to see you there!
    Cheer cheer

  2. Hey Jan, I too love seeing Hawthorn being beaten, a very unsociable team. Congrats to the Swannies, a most enjoyable game. In my humble opinion, the only thing good about the Hawks is Paul Puopolo (ex Norwood player – don’t know if I’ve spelt his name correctly).

    Your Bloods are definitely on the move but have possibly left their run too late – we’ll see.. In the meantime I’m hoping the Crows’ good form continues -it will need to having to take on Geelong at Geelong and then the Bloody Power in the next 2 weeks.

    All the best Jan and am hoping your having some success in retaining your stolen computer files.

  3. Marie Teague says

    Good win Jan. All Hawthorn supporters aren’t bad!! I know 2 very nice ones.- son Tim and son-in-law Seb. It’s funny, I don’t hate Hawhorn like I used to. Probably because of Tim and Seb. And I think all teams have awful supporters. Anyway, the world is good for you at the moment Jan – you have your computer files back and Swans are winning. We really have to enjoy the small things, as we can’t do a huge amount for the big things. And I figure if we’re content and happy, we’re more use to other people and the big issues. X

  4. Rick Kane says

    Great article Jan, and that’s coming from a dyed in the wool Hawker. Buddy was on fire. When he pulled up with that tweak to the hammy and even though he was tearing us up I yelled at the telly, “not Buddy!”.

    May your season continue to improve. Us Hawks will rebuild …

  5. Thanks one and all!

    Debby: Will defintely look forward to catching up at the pre-match function. Cheer cheer

    Fisho: Yes, we are the move, but think the following years will be even more exciting! And, a long story, but I got my files back – or most of them! A week of anguish and tears turned into a day of celebratory tears of relief! Thanks

    Marie: Oh yes, I know! Of course not all supporters from all teams are obnoxious – or whatever we like to call them – and the arse-holes amongst them belong everywhere. However, I still LOVE beating Hawthorn – despite Tim and Seb!

    Rick: I almost felt like doing a Ps in the post, apologising to the “decent” Hawks’ fans (like yourself!), when I wrote about the disgruntled ones (even though I’m sure you would know what I meant). Thanks

  6. Marie Teague says

    Hi Jan again, another thing that’s REALLY weird is I don’t hate Collingwood any more!!! It could be that grandsons Oscar and Charlie barrack for them, I’m going a bit soft in the head in my old age or that I really like Nathan Buckley and quite a few of their players. I reckon it’s good to be flexible as we get older!! But not hating Collingwood and Hawthorn is a bit of a worry!!

  7. Rick Kane says

    Hi Jan

    All cool. Yes, most def knew what you meant. Don’t apologise. I was floored by (some of) the Hawks members responses. A lot of our life is spent waiting around for knuckle draggers to catch up (eg, marriage equality). At the very least (like Nicky Winmar before and countless other Aboriginal players before Winmar) the terrible stuff Goodes had to endure has led to a next level broad community discussion and it feels like the discussion is reshaping understandings. Would much rather we got here without the pain and suffering but glad that we got here or are getting here! Cheers

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