Round 16 – Hawthorn v Collingwood (Floreat Pica Society)



Hawthorn v Collingwood

7:50pm, Friday July 5




The Preamble.


Hawthorn. The Hawks. The Hawkers. The Brown and Golds…..


Hawthorn are an interesting side for me. On reflection, they have been the stand-out side of my lifetime. They won their first flag in 1961, after decades in the wilderness and being the easy-beat, flog-dogs of the comp after joining the VFL in 1925. They only won the one for the ’60s, yet they were just building. They won 4 out of 10 for the ’70s, 4 out of 10 for the ’80s, only(?) 1 out of 10 in the ’90s and Noughties, and lately 3 out of 8 in the last decade.


Thirteen in total.


To put things in perspective Collingwood had won 12 when I was born in 1954. Since then we have won three – and two since Hawthorn won their 1st in ’61.


For the record, since 1961, we have drawn or lost 12 Grand Finals, won 2. The Hawks has probably had the same Granny appearances as The Pies, but very different results.


Strangely, despite regular appearances over the journey, both sides have not played off in a Granny at all, and only one Prelim that I can remember (2011).


I have to admit a grudging respect for the Hawthorn Football Club.


How did Hawthorn turn it around after being in the football wilderness for so long?


Hearsay has it they looked to Collingwood – the most successful club of the comp by the late ’50s.


The Hawthorn committee, or whoever did their review, concluded that The Pies fundamentally had a tight, family culture that produced loyalty, a strong commitment to the team (and the suburb at the time) and a willingness do what had to be done for the greater good. This produced success.


Side by Side so to speak. (Sound familiar?)


Hawthorn consciously and transparently, went about and deliberately changed their culture.


Hawthorn, in my lifetime, has become known as the “family club”.


The results are plain to see.


Hawthorn under John Kennedy, Alan Jeans and currently, Alistair Clarkson have steered the Hawks to three great periods in their history. They have built their coaching success on the back of good, solid recruitment and have not been scared to let players go, even true champion players go, who do not fit their culture or team ethos. Gary Ablett Snr and Buddy Franklin are two cases in point.


Their recruiting has been excellent, and they have had patience and backed the long-term goal and haven’t been seduced by the quick-fix as has so many other clubs.


Great teams and long serving players, for example the  1976 side included Geoff Ablett, Michael Moncreiff, Don Scott, Peter Knights, Michael Tuck, Rodney Eade and Leigh Matthews….. Gee.


The 1989 central goal line was: Chris Langford, Chris Mew, Anthony Condon, Dermott Brereton, Jason Dunstall – wow! – and also included Dean Anderson, Robert DiPerdomenico, Gary Buchenara, Michael Tuck, John Platten as well.


2014 included: Brian Lake, Sam Mitchell, Jordan lewis, Luke Hodge, Jarryd Roughead, Ben McEvoy, Jack Gunston, Luke Breust, David Hale, Shaun Burgoyne and Cyril Rioli.


My favourite Hawthorn side is the 1989 one – what a side. Certainly a truly epic Granny against the Cats. Unforgettable.


My personal view is that we  – Collingwood – got lucky in 1990. The Hawks and the Cats smashed each up so bad in that final that it took both sides the entire 1990 season to recover.


The signs were on the wall late in that 1990 season when I took a Kiwi mate to the footy for his 1st AFL match at Waverley Park. I had a serious sniff that this was our year – thankfully it was – however they handed us a fair dinkum flogging, a shellacking, of around 10 goals right out of the box. So much for an Aussie Rules showcase match – just didn’t cut it with my State of Origin rugby league Kiwi mate. Bloody dismal affair.


Hawthorn just snuck into the finals that year only to be beaten by Melbourne in the Elimination Final…. luckily we didn’t play them.


They were back-in-town in ’91 to beat the fledgling Eagles in their 1st Grand Final appearance.


So, love them or hate them, as stated earlier, the Hawthorn Club, have my full respect.


Indeed, last season and particularly so far this season, when we have fallen over the line, played for only 1 quarter and then hung on – won ugly – I would always think that this was good, because it was very Hawthorn-like, which is a characteristic to emulate.


As for their supporters, well…… that’s another story.


Over the last few years – especially 2007 – 2014 they – the supporters – have been, in various quarters, been compared to the smug, conceited, as-of-right and generally painful Carlton supporters from the 1970s to the late 1990s.


Enough said – I’ll leave that one on the table…


The prelude to this game has not been good. Absolutely flogged last week by North to the tune of 44 points. By all accounts it should have been 100; thankfully I didn’t go.


Although I tipped the ‘woods, I did so with no confidence and purely on sentiment – no wonder I’m second-last in my tipping comp. I think we have only beaten them once since the 2011 Prelim. (Thank you Nick Maxwell).


The Hawks definitely have the wood on the ‘woods.


No matter that they are in re-building stage and we are second.


Regardless of where each side is on the ladder, you gotta handle them like you would handle a tiger snake.


Firmly and with 110% concentration.


One slightest slip, one nano-second of lapse in concentration, one mistake and YOU ARE DEAD.


My gut feeling is that we could be well and truly up for another flogging by a side, who I am sure, can sense a glass jaw and are ripe for the picking.


The game.


1st Quarter

Good, chaotic football played by both sides with The Pies more accurate on the scoreboard. A high pressure game – not that pretty but competitive. A real arm wrestle. The 1st gamer Quaynor, looks good so far. Composed on the big stage. 1.5 Hawks, 4.0 Pies.


2nd Quarter

Still an arm wrestle, even-stevens. Hawks kicked a little straighter than us and pulled the margin back a little, 3.8 Hawks, 5.4 Pies. Our backline is holding up OK with Grundy, Pendlebury, Crisp, Treloar, Philips, Aish and De Goey all putting in.

On the other hand, the same could be said about the Hawks. Their backline is all over our forwards, and their on-ballers pretty well breaking even with ours with McEvoy a good foil for Grundy, with good contributors, Sicily, Glass and Breust.


3rd Quarter

Still anyone’s game. Grundy continues to be very, very good, Sidebottom, Pendlebury reliable, Treloar still putting in at the clinches. Backline of Moore, Maynard, Roughead and Quaynor holding up really well under sometimes extreme pressure. Moore looks like a new bloke in the side with his haircut. Still an arm wrestle with each side kicking only one goal for the quarter.

Pies lead by 10 – 6.7 to the Hawks, 4.9.


4th Quarter

Early on we have most of the play and manage to get 18 ahead, however 15 mins in and the Hawks get a run on – turnovers are starting to kill us and Treloar’s gone AWOL – and hit the front for the first time in the match. Despite another two goals by both sides, they hang on to win the Hawthorn Way, by 4 points. Thankfully it wasn’t a flogging.

Hawks 9.13 to The Pies 9.9


Crowd 66,000 or thereabouts. I’m sure a lot of Pie supporters stayed home after last week.


The wash-up.


The positives.

After last week’s effort, it was good to see that we had come to play. Another round of team changes with old-stagers Ried, Varcoe and Greenwood out (the selectors conceded tackling pressure) and Quaynor, Elliot and Aish in. Quaynor is a real find and the real deal. Can play. I saw him only fluff up one of his many possessions and had composure under pressure. Three of his passes were pin-point perfect when it really mattered, and there could have been more.




Mayne was effective, but quieter than usual. The backline held together pretty well, considering that Moore and Scharenburg have been in and out and it was Quaynor’s first game. Maynard and Roughead have been the generals back there. Regarding Quaynor, like Stephenson, he will be an automatic selection on this form. Only 19 years old, and will only get better. Seir, for his 2nd or third game back, was ok in patches, particularly after his torrid match last week.


The negatives.

We lost. The engine room has no grunt. This has been said all year: Grundy is certainly one of the top-tier ruckman of the comp, however this is not reflected in the clearances. We need a Luke Ball. Pendlebury can’t be everywhere, Sidebottom likes to keep his feet, Treloar can’t do it all day, De Goey is great only in bursts and Taylor Adams is injured. Who else is stepping up?

Brown is fading week by week since his big rap in the small paper 5 or 6 weeks ago. Daicos got properly towelled up on the night.


The forward line.

What can you say? Looks all out of sync without Stephenson. Cox had his 2nd game back and the best that can be said of his game was it was not very effective although he did a couple of good things…. Mihocek is doing ok mostly and same goes for WHE. Jamie Elliot tried hard all night but is a very long way off his best.

Generally did not gell. Too many changes and not enough game time together.

Josh Thomas. Had two effective disposals and one solid mark in the 1st and that’s where it finished. In the last, watched a good passage in play directly in front of me and Thomas was on the end. Had plenty of space however was watching the Hawk player as well as the ball, dropped the simple handpass, the Hawks cleared it, got the fast break, and 10 seconds later, bang, another goal to them.

Quite simply, we lost this game on the selection table.


The Leigh Matthews/Dermott Brereton Medal votes go to:


3 votes

Brody Grundy, elite performer, unfortunate that we are unable to take full advantage of his talents.


2 votes

Brendan Maynard, unsung hero holding up the backline, week after week after week and again tonight. Wasn’t his fault we were beaten.


1 vote

Jordan Roughead, as per Maynard. 10 disposals at 80% and 3 contested but stats are not always not the full story.


Special mentions to Crisp, Philips, Pendlebury and Quaynor who is a real find.


Floreat Pica





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  1. daniel flesch says

    Great write-up all round , f.p.s. Spot on analysis and description.

  2. An interesting piece. I must admit I have no particular liking for either Hawthorn or Collingwood. The only time I ever barrack for the Hawks are when they come up against Collingwood or the Power.

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