Round 23 – Hawthorn v Collingwood: A game we should have won

by Cam Hooke


I expected a Pies’ Win.  But then, I always do.  I have faith in our List, our Game Plan and our coaches.  Round 23 was one game where any concerns I had were never raised.  A good performance.


For a team with effectively nothing to gain from the outing, our performance was outstanding.  Our Round 23 opponents, Hawthorn, the reigning ‘three-peat’ premiership champions, had until a week earlier been sitting at the top of the Ladder; against us they were still 4th versus our 12th place; 16 and 5 (Wins and Losses) versus 9 and 12; nearly 120% versus our underwhelming 95%.  From the statistics it should have been a “walk in the park” Win for them.  For extra motivation, a Loss against us, could have dropped them to 7th place on the Ladder.


The game ‘vacillated’.  The Pies reached an 18-point lead at the First Change, reduced to 11 by Half Time.  The Hawks converted it to a 12-point lead at the Final Change, then the fun really started.  The Pies reduced the lead to zero early in the Final Quarter only to have the Hawks kick three quick goals in succession to establish an 18-point lead by the mid-point of the Quarter.  Then the Pies fought back with four goals in succession to establish a 6-point lead.  Finally, the Hawks kicked a goal to equalise with three minutes to go but, with 33 seconds to go the Hawks scored the winning Behind.  And there was no more.


The usual contenders filled the Best listing.  Rioli only had 11 touches, but those included three Goals and three Goal Assists, and a magnificent specky; Howe was fantastic in defence, but Breust also got three.  At the other end, Trav was consistently mobbed by defenders (and poor umpiring (you knew I was going to say that, didn’t you)) but demonstrated his preference for hard-goals rather than directly in front.  Treloar and Pendles were fantastic.  Treloar’s ability to start at one end of the ground and end up kicking for goal after four separate touches is extraordinary.  On the other side Mitchell, Lewis and Hodge all added huge experience and steadiness to their midfield.


And, the Hawks won.  By a single point.  You can argue, endlessly about this Free or that, or the absence of one, but it doesn’t really matter.  These things tend to balance out in the end.  It was a good outing.  Advice I received from supporters who attended the game highlighted the ‘standing ovation’ given to the team at each break, and at the end.


The team showed the application and commitment, the skills and teamwork and the promise of the future.  It was all we really wanted.


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