Round 8 – Hawthorn v Sydney: Revenge is Sweet.

Living in Dubai, watching AFL live is challenging to say the least. With the time difference, balancing schoolwork, and also balancing what the parents have scheduled on weekends, it can be hard to watch a live game. There have been many games that I have had to watch delayed due to other commitments, however one such footy match that I had to watch delayed is still fresh in my mind. The date was September 26th, 2014. The Swans had made the Grand Final and were scheduled to play Hawthorn. Unfortunately, due to school play commitments, I could not see my beloved Swans play live. My parents were saddened by the news that they would have to watch the grand final without me. I made a deal with dad that Friday night that he could watch the Grand Final with me after rehearsal finished Saturday Afternoon (due to the time difference between Melbourne and Dubai, the game was on at 8 o’clock in the morning Dubai time,) so long if he didn’t mention any scores. My heart was beating with anticipation all day at rehearsal. Dad and I sat down in front of the TV early Saturday Arvo and I prepared my self for what was supposed to be a great grand final. It wasn’t. I only got to see the first half (the TV only recorded half the game), but after half time, with the Swans down by 47 points and needing a comeback greater than Carlton’s legendary comeback of 1970, Dad told me all I had to know. My beloved Swans had gone down by 63 points, the Hawks never gave them a sniff. They had revenged the Swans for the 2012 Grand Final result. The result was a bitter piece of candy to swallow. Since the release of the fixture for 2015, I had been looking forward to this round 8 game. This game offered a chance for redemption, revenge, and early bragging rights in what shaped as an interesting season. A day before this round 8 clash and I was feeling slightly confident. Sydney had been good so far in the season, the only real hiccup being the round 5 loss against the Dogs, while the Hawks had been inconsistent so far, whipping North, Geelong, Melbourne, and the Dogs, but also losing to the Bombers, the Giants, and Port. The only thing that concerned me heading into this game was Hawthorn’s ins: Lake, Lewis, And Smith. Add that to a team consisting of Rioli, Gunston, Gibson, and Roughead, and Hawthorn, on paper at least, was looking formidable. But it wasn’t like Sydney had a week team. Headed by names like Franklin, Goodes, McVeigh, and Reid, Sydney also came into this grand final replay with all guns blazing. This game, on paper at least, was set to be a beauty. Anticipation was building pre-game. Jeez, the MCG is a beautiful ground. Hawthorn won the toss, but it was the Swans that got the fast start, getting the first inside 50 and the first set shot, which led to the first goal being scored by Rohan. Tippett got the second, the Hawks seemed shocked. Tempers were boiling at the start of the game, and at the ten-minute mark a fight broke out between Lewis and four Swans. He started it, the Hawks benefited from it with a free and a shot of goal, but Roughead missed. McGlyn kicked the third for the game and for the Swans. Goodes, much to Hawks fans dismay, kicked the fourth. Tippett snapped the fifth. Hawthorn tried multiple times to kick it inside 50, but the Swans defensive held strong. At the quarter time siren, the Hawks are goal-less, the first time since 2012 that they’ve had a score-less quarter (funnily enough, their opponents in that game was also Sydney.) Early in the second Gunston has a chance to kick Hawthorn’s first. Surely he can’t miss, he does. McGlyn kicks his second. This is turning into a thrashing. Issac Smith hits the post. Breust, unfortunately, kicks the Hawks first, Shoenmakers kicks their second, Ceglar their third, Langford their fourth. The Hawks are coming hard. Roughead misses, Puopolo too, but momentum is wearing brown and gold. Reid kicks a settler, but the siren’s a relief for the Swans. On to the third term. Neither team has the real advantage early, but the umpires’ performance is thought-provoking. Never before has the umpires gotten them selves into the right position to view a contest only to either pay a dodgy free kick or not pay one at all. Gunston kicks the first at the half way mark of the term, this game has officially became a stalemate. Shoenmakers kicks his second to level the scores. Reid replies. Puopolo replies to Reid’s reply. Rioli puts the Hawks in front. At the siren I sigh a big sigh, the Swans are going to need a big last term. Rioli kicks the first( again after some bizarre free kicks) to skip the margin out to 12 points. McVeigh replies with a great goal from 50 plus. McVeigh gets another. Margin one point. Parker goals, Swans in front. Minute and a half to go, Breust misses. 45 seconds, Rioli dropped a sitter running into an open goal. The Swans mop up. The Siren sounds. Swans win! Take that umpires! Buddy had a quite game, but he still had a huge smile on his face when the siren sang. The win today definitely has not made up for last September’s big loss, but it has made that particular bitter result a little bit easier to swallow. I’m looking forward to the replay of this game later on in the year and perhaps on Grand Final day once again.


For more reports of the Swans win over the Hawks click here

About Caspar McLeod

Third Culture Kid at Heart. Grew up in Asia, discovered footy at age 9. AFL has since been my burning passion. Ask me who were the winners all the grand finals between 1938 and last year's decider, and I'll be happy to tell you. I'm a footy nut with a passion for writing and acting. All though I love writing and acting, during the footy season, AFL is my true passion. Waiting ever so patiently for the day when Essendon Next win the flag.