Round 15 – Hawthorn v Collingwood: Hope is all there is (by Paul McKay for the Floreat Pica Society)


With another “no finals” year fast becoming a reality, it was clear that vast reserves of hope – that elusive, scarce, four letter word – were on display going into this match.


With the Hawks buoyant after their win against the Crows at the AO last week, we knew we were facing a different challenge compared to six weeks ago. However the mouth watering prospect of beating the Hawks twice in one year was surely sufficient motivation to a player group in dire need of every small positive morsel. In fact, it would be fair to say that before the Melbourne game, after three wins in a row, there was a very small slither of hope for 2017.


Alas, yet again hope slips through desperate, grasping, groping fingers… after the narrow loss to Melbourne and then the poor show against Port. But, but, but… could we somehow find something to turn the tide again, in this crazy season of narrow wins and daring come-backs? The last time I wrote for the FPS I gleefully reported on an incredible come from behind win over the Hawks – a comeback from 43 points down. Could we pull it off again? Pendlebury playing his 250th… surely that milestone could give provide the inspiration to conjure up a win? And to top all that… the world renowned poet and author Rob Scott had traveled thousands of miles from his adopted home of Sweden to attend this match. Surely they wouldn’t possibly let him down?


Hope… looking at the ladder pre-game and thinking… a win here and we are somehow amazingly still in touch the eight. To the first bounce, and coming out of the blocks, we had Elliott and Greenwood on the board quickly, before falling asleep and allowing the Hawks a 19 point lead at the first change. An improved second quarter from our midfielders, notably De Goey, and a few majors to our big American saw the lead cut to six points at half time.


Enter the Q3 arm wrestle… for a while we exchanged two goals for two goals until a major to Fas put us in front at the last change. Early Q4 and we give two easy ones back to the Hawks, but when Fas eased through traffic and slotted a running goal at the 19 minute mark, we could see Clarko – with bulging eyes and  reddening face – moving into expletive mode and ready to give a young apprentice plasterer some Monday morning ceiling repair work. But hope slipped again as our guys continued to consistently find brown and gold guernseys at crunch time and we allowed goals to Roughead and Breust, to ice the contest.
The commentators made a big deal about us being “under-manned”, but really it was only two down – the Sack after his smack to the nose and Moore with what I’m not sure, but tight hammies were mentioned.


The coach was his usual pragmatic self after the game but his face bore the familiar imprint of having to defend a position of too few wins from so many opportunities. He rattled off a lot of names together with their ages, highlighting the fact that many of the players out there today were between the 21 to 24 age bracket, and therefore worth persisting with. Of course the big question remains; will those youngsters soon be playing under a new coach?


To the votes;


Normally the last thing I do before allocating the votes is to take a quick look at the stats on my AFL app. Unfortunately the app does not show effective disposals. Adams is always up there in our top 3 possession getters. But I’m pretty sure his strike rate will be very low. Sadly, he just cannot kick to save himself.


3. Jordan de Goey; 32 possessions – clearly he has shown us what he is capable of.

2. Tom Phillips; appears to be improving each game, and making the most of his opportunities

1. Alex Fasolo; for being the only effective forward on the day (with apologies to big Mason), and producing the goods at critical moments.


Until next week….

The Bangkok Correspondent.


  1. Daniel Flesch says

    “The commentators made a big deal about us being “under-manned”, but really it was only two down”
    Big of you to say that , Paul , but i think it was a factor , especially in the last quarter when players are tired and a minute or two’s rest on the bench can help quite a bit , i would have thought. And i’m a Hawthorn supporter. As the (irritating ) McAvaney pointed out the two sitting it out were one big defender and one key forward. We’ll never know how much of a difference those two would have made if they’d been fit to play out the game , but it’s worth pointing out it was a very close affair until deep into the last quarter. But it’s good to see a supporter not making excuses for his team’s loss. And a Collingwood one at that :-)

Leave a Comment