Round 5 – Hawthorn v West Coast Eagles: Cyril’s Bag of Tricks


Round 5: Hawthorn v West Coast Eagles – Cyril’s Bag of Tricks
24 April 2017


Cliché or not, commentators often argue that total possessions are an unreliable indicator of Cyril Rioli’s on-field value. Last Sunday at the MCG, the little magician proved this point in spades with the following special tricks:


1.The screamer, and the missed (realistic attempt) screamer


Off half a step and with eyes determinedly fixed on the contest, Cyril springs metres above the pack. His fluorescent green boots gain a valuable foothold as his flailing arms coax the footy down from the skies. On one occasion Cyril protects the Sherrin as he crashes suddenly to the deck.  On another he comes down empty-handed, but who else does missed attempts this well!


2.The magic tap


Cyril springs skyward again in front of a contest just outside fifty. At full stretch, he elects to forego the mark, instead directing the ball with his palm as if a tap ruckman into the path of Burgoyne who is heading full steam towards goal.


3.The one-man-chain


In heavy traffic in the centre square, Cyril executes a jumping intercept, shrugs a tackle, twists, and finally hands off to Mitchell who pumps the ball high into the forward line. Gunston punches the ball to ground from the back of the pack, by which time Cyril arrives at the contest. He crumbs the front-and-centre possession, sending a slick handball through to Sicily in the goal square.


4.The tunnel ball


In a move of purely aesthetic value (thanks umpires!), Cyril streams from centre half-forward towards the boundary inside fifty. Swooping on the ball, Cyril pivots and tunnel-balls the sherrin through his opponents legs.


5.Being there


An errant mid-air kick from an Eagle defender finds Cyril’s outstretched arm inside the fifty.  Cyril goes back and methodically nails the goal, breaking the back of the eagles early in the final terms.



HAWTHORN         3.4   9.8   12.9  19.11 (125)
WEST COAST       2.2   5.5   7.8     11.9 (75)




Hawthorn: O’Brien 3, Breust 3, Roughead 3, Gunston 3, Sicily 2, Shiels, Puopolo, Burgoyne, McEvoy, Rioli

West Coast: Darling 4, Shuey 2, Hill 2, Cripps, Kennedy, Redden




Hawthorn: Mitchell, O’Brien, Rioli, Burgoyne, McEvoy, Breust, Gibson

West Coast: Shuey, Priddis, Darling, Barrass, Gaff


VOTES: Rioli, Mitchell, McEvoy


UMPIRES: Foot, Fleer, Pannell


OFFICIAL CROWD:28,997 at the MCG

About Gareth Meyer

Part-time food, wine and travel writer (and photographer), Hawks supporter since Huddo senior had the football on a string, proud owner of Martha the toy poodle.


  1. Great way to sum up the game Gareth. It was the Rioli show. That “magic tap” as you’ve described it is the very essence of brilliance, creativity, innovation and teamwork. Ww need Rioli so much. Cheers

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