Round 6 – GWS v Hawthorn: Reminders

There’s nothing like having kids to remind you of your own mortality. So many reminders. The shiny, bright, smooth skin on the back of their hands versus my blotched, crinkling, weathered rind covering my decaying metacarpus. That’s not the worst. When kids cut their leg (usually chasing a ball or the wind) the cut heals remarkably quickly. So quickly. It’s like watching the healing process in real time in a sci-fi movie. I got a cut on my lower arm last Wednesday and it still hasn’t completely healed over. The scab lingers. It’s as if kids’ molecular biological activities (the cells and such) are operating at a dizzying speed compared to my plodding cellular structures.

But what has all this Year 9 science got to do with the Giants making a meal of the Mightys?

“I used to write more and I used to write faster – it’s just aging. It slows you down a little bit.” – Stephen King, Rolling Stone interview, Oct 2014

But what has this second rate horror novelist got to do with the Giants making a meal of the Mightys?

When His Holiness the Sixteenth Gyalwang Karmapa was attending a luncheon at the United States Congress, a congressman asked him, “If Your Holiness could summarize the teachings of the Buddha in one sentence, what would that be?” Without hesitation, the Karmapa replied, “Everything changes.” (

But what has Buddha’s ramblings got to do with the Giants making a meal of the Mightys?

At the end of Round 6 the mighty Hawks have either smashed their opponents or lost a tight game. Even in the loss to Port Adelaide we whittled a 50 point head start back to 8 points.

However, that’s not the point. The last time the Hawks started a season this poorly was in 2012 (at Round 6 we had a 3/3 win loss ratio and weren’t even in the Top 8). The Hawks only lost two more game during the season and lost in the Grand Final. That was then. Three years have passed and the Hawks best are now three years older. Three years closer to Sport’s final reminder.

The biggest reminder the Giants gave to the Hawks and the rest of the competition is that speed is king. Skill and smarts are princes. Brawn and brio are foot servants. Speed is king. Youth is speed.

A couple of weeks back when Port Adelaide got off the leash in the first quarter, they did it off the back of a division of fleet-footed midfielders. Against GWS, the Hawks would start each quarter with a burst but as the quarter went on the Giants wore them down, knowing they had plenty of fuel in the tank and an accelerator ready to be hit.

The loss also reminded the faithful that old bulls bullish behaviour is bullshit. If the Hawks had Lewis on the field would the result have been different? I suspect so. (Hell, the Hawks are ageing not dead). But he wasn’t and we all know why. As leaders Lewis and Hodge should know better. (That Premiership ain’t going to win itself). But these leaders are ageing warriors with one eye on the dying of the light and one eye on one more contest. They know in their mind’s eye they must slow the contest down. The loss to GWS is a reminder that if they’re gunna slow the contest down they have to do it within the rules of the game not their own.

The final reminder (I’m sure there are more, this is just a dramatic flourish) is that every team is barely 5 players away from being part of the pack or standing out. As Freo are showing one and all. The Hawks, without Lewis, Lake, Spangher, Frawley and the King of Colac, are indeed looking vulnerable. The midfield and backline espec. Time will tell if these titans, fit and playing well, can tilt the team to winning. But time is running out. And no one wants to be reminded of that.

Note: This piece in no way means to understate GWS performance and win. They were great, fluid and skilful. They took the chances, bet themselves and it paid off. From Devon Smith’s couple of goals in the First to Cameron’s bag of seven for the match, from Ward to Griffen to Scully and Shiel, GWS had winners everywhere. Good luck to them.

About Rick Kane

Up in the mornin', out on the job Work like the devil for my pay But that lucky old sun has nothin' to do But roll around Heaven all day


  1. Thanks Trucker, couldn’t agree more. And BTW, surely Schoenmakers is now done, Suckers needs a spell to either re-learn how to kick and/or to get some confidence and let’s play Litherland, O’Rourke, Woodward etc. I, like you I suspect, still believe that our best is plenty good enough, but it’s getting way tougher to find that form – hence losses to Essendon and GWS already.

  2. Rick Kane says

    Thanks Magnets. Yes, I was going to use Schoenmakers as another reminder but I didn’t want to go too hard on him. I think he knows where he stands. Yes, I reckon our best form is still pretty good. The wins have been v impressive. But our pace does show and gets exposed. Cheers

  3. John Butler says

    A fair bit of the Cats circa 2010 about the Hawks at present RK.

    Will be interesting to see how things pan out.

  4. Phillip Dimitriadis says

    Trucker you old bugger. As Peter McKenna liked to say in the ’80s: “Never write Hawthorn off.” The more things change…
    Lots of life left in you and in the Hawks of 2015.

  5. Fascinating season, Rick. Change can be rapid and unexpected. Enjoy kids when they’re young as they grow fast; enjoy your team’s glory years because they too will pass and you’re back in the scrum, fighting and scrapping.

  6. Balanced and intelligent analysis from a Hawks fan?? They must have supped at the table of plenty for too long. Humility does not sit well on their shoulders.
    Very thoughtful and fair Rick.

  7. Hawks were never any good so this is no surprise.

  8. Matt Quartermaine says

    Gosh Rick, I do hope your team bounces back from its woes and gets the rest of its season back on track. Sorry, I can’t go on. It appears I’ve done a James Kelly and ruptured a testicle from laughing too hard.

  9. Rick Kane says

    Thanks fellas, I’m feelin the love … and contempt … and fear … but mostly the love!

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