Round 3 – Hawthorn v Western Bulldogs: Mutiny on the Bonty

Hawthorn versus Western Bulldogs

1.10pm, Sunday, 19th April

Aurora Stadium, Launceston.


Neil Anderson                            





In August last year I wrote about the equivalent match and called it Under The Lash in Van Diemen’s Land.

Hawthorn was heading for finals glory and one lowly team had to be transported to Tasmania for a Hawk-flogging before they could prepare for those finals. The AFL magistrates had deemed the Bulldogs would be that cannon-fodder.  After all, with all those guineas poured into their coffers by the AFL, the wretches would also appreciate a holiday away from the mainland. Away from their heartland as well, but those were the conditions to gain their ‘ticket of leave’.

But today the mutineers are returning from exile and ready to take on their former masters with a different crew, including a lot of young men not used to the lash and not expecting to lose.

They are ably led by the recently promoted Captain Robert Murphy and this time they have enlisted a young giant called Thomas Boyd who hails from west of Sydney Town. He was not dragooned but joined the crew willingly with the promise of more guilders than the Orange-Men of Blacktown could offer.

Only one of the original mutineers, Fletcher Christian Howard decided to stay on Pitcairn Island.

When the good-ship Bontempelli sails down the Tamar today, it will bring a far more formidable crew to take on their lord and masters. Captain Groenewegen late of Footscray in the Port Phillip District, has now been posted to Launceston to be in charge of the Aurora field and billeting. This was the result of his Court-Marshall for a failed mutinous act after conspiring with First Mate Tony Buhagiar. He is expected to undermine Captain Hodge and his crew to assist the mutineers.

As the Bulldog ‘rebels’ prepared to enter the arena to seek revenge after being dominated for the last decade, their task suddenly looked a whole lot harder. Missing in the line-up was their greatest young swashbuckler after whom their ship was named.  ‘The Marcus Bontempelli’.

Already the most experienced old sea-dog in Matthew Boyd was unable to travel south along with Easton Wood who was hamstrung yet again. Cabin-boy and mascot Nathan Hrovat and new recruit Lukas Webb are their replacements and because of their size and inexperience, the likelihood of victory now looks slim.

The first quarter was predictable as an example of holding back the tide with as much strength and endeavour the Bulldogs could muster. Kicking with the breeze and yet the Hawks still had a two-point lead at quarter-time. The Bulldogs were mentally defeated from the early stages of the match. None of that manic energy was evident as seen in the previous two rounds, and no praise by commentators for any of their renown ‘ forward-line pressure ‘ this time.

The second quarter and the Hawks kicking with the wind, any form of resistance from the Bulldogs was put down. Captain Hodge was almost majestic controlling and leading his troops. In the centre of all the action he led from the front and his men fell into line behind him. The only man that could  have curbed his influence was Mitch ‘William’ Wallis. He would have donned the red, white and blue war-paint and screamed at those who were starting to falter. “ They may have won the last two premierships…but they shall never take our freedom! ”

But alas, Wallis was out of the contest after being accidentally kneed in the spine and then Dale Morris who commands the rear-guard defences so well, was wounded and taken to the sick-bay. All men now absent or injured for the Bulldogs were necessary if they ever had a chance of victory against the full-strength  Hawks.

With two Bulldogs down, the strong, skilled and confident Hawks were able to freely display those skills for the second half of the contest while sending a message to any other contenders who may be vying for their Crown. They are definitely not just content with winning the last two premierships.


After seeing Commander Al Clarkson become apoplectic after a rare error by his troops when they were ten goals ahead, I’m sure they are aiming to at least equal the record of four premierships in a row.


Hawthorn:    2.3   11.6   14.7   19.13 ( 127 )
Bulldogs: 2.1  6.1   8.6   8.9  ( 57 )



Hawthorn:  Roughead 7, Gunston 2, Breust 2, Hodge 2, Hartung, McEvoy, Rioli, Birchall, Puopolo, Mitchell.
Bulldogs: T. Boyd 3, Honeychurch, Dahlhaus, Jong, Crameri, Minson.



Hawthorn:  Hodge, Roughead, Lewis, Smith, Birchall, Mitchell, Duryea, Langford.
Bulldogs: Dahlhaus, Jong, Talia, Murphy, T. Boyd, Minson.


Umpires:  Ryan, Mitchell, Harris.

Official crowd:  15, 559.


Our Votes:  3 Hodge ( Haw. )  2 Lewis ( Haw)  1 Roughead  ( Haw. )




About Neil Anderson

Enjoys reading and writing about the Western Bulldogs. Instead of wondering if the second premiership will ever happen, he can now bask in the glory of the 2016 win.


  1. Steve Hodder says

    Neil, presumably Footscray are still somewhere in the strait, on their version of “The Raft of the Medusa” with nothing for solace but “rum, sodomy and the lash”?

    Loved the analogy!


  2. Neil Anderson says

    ‘The Raft’ sounds like a bit of well-earned R and R for the boys after what they endured in Tassie.
    I’m starting to call them Footscray again as well. It just sounds more appropriate, especially now we have the VFL side Footscray.

  3. Great review Mr Anderson. It was a tough assignment for the Doggies, especially after losing key players. Maybe the team has reach deeper into history and find the drive and urgency of the rally to arms, “cry ‘Havoc,’ and let slip the dogs of war”.


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