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Round 8 – Sydney v Hawthorn: From pandemic purgatory to the Estonian Marvel

Sydney v Hawthorn

3:35pm, Saturday July 25




Needless to say it’s been a discombobulated year in life, let alone footy. I’ve not felt moved to write about footy and have not known exactly what to say anyway. However a win for my Swans over one of our arch rivals – the Hawks – is always worthy of comment. In my mind this was a particularly noteworthy win for my lads on Saturday afternoon at the SCG breaking a four game losing streak.


At the start of the year my expectation of my mob was only to see development of our young list. With the onset of the pandemic and the season in abeyance for a few months, my expectations simplified further to just seeing us play some good footy with some courage and flair. That has been challenging with the loss of so many senior players to injury, most of them being the taller brigade.


Well we delivered this week on both fronts; courage and flair. The flair was provided in spades by little Tommy Papley with his four goals getting under the skin of the Hawks both on and off the ground. Paps is a pest, however he is our pest. Let’s hope it stays that way. Young Elijah Taylor in only his second game and wearing the famous No.37 jumper snapped a gem for his first goal in big footy showing he too has talent a plenty. But more generally after half time we as a team played with dare breaking the lines, cutting the angles and moving the ball quickly in to the forward line. We’ve been trying to do this for much of the year, and it is a major departure from our previous contested footy style of game.


The courage component was magnificently demonstrated by our co-captain Dane Rampe. He appeared to injure his right hand in a marking contest early in the second quarter. It was confirmed later that he had indeed broken his hand. Regardless he battled on and not only contributed but at times dominated down back with he and Jake Lloyd mopping up all that came their way. As I watched via the Foxtel coverage commentator Gary Lyon described Rampe as wearing a cape today as he dove to touch a ball on the goal line late in the game. Ramps is indeed our super hero … the Clovelly Kid, the Estonian Marvel perhaps?


Let’s add resilience to the traits that epitomise this team, today best demonstrated by defender Matt Ling playing his first game. Selected as a first round pick in the 2017 Draft, toe and Achilles injuries have curtailed his progress over two seasons. It was great to see him out there and he looked capable at this level.


In a tense finish all contributed to hold on for a 7 point win, old and young such as Florent and Rowbottom and fringe players looking to earn their spots like Grey, Clarke, L.Taylor and Fox. Now I know the Hawks were pretty ordinary at times in this game, however I still believe this was a significant win for our young team. There will be stumbles along the way however I think we will look back in years to come and say he turned the corner in this match. Indeed we played with courage and flair.



SYDNEY           2.1       5.1       8.2       9.6 (60)
HAWTHORN    3.3       5.3       6.6       7.11 (53)


Sydney: Papley 4, Reid, Parker, Taylor, McCartin, Blakey
Hawthorn: O’Meara, Shiels, Gunston, Wingard, Burgoyne, Mitchell, Sicily 


Sydney: Papley, Rampe, Lloyd, Rowbottom, Florent, Parker, Mills
Hawthorn: O’Meara, Sicily, Shiels, Mitchell, Frawley




Our writers are independent contributors. The opinions expressed in their articles are their own. They are not the views, nor do they reflect the views, of Malarkey Publications.


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About Keiran Croker

Keiran is a lifelong Swans supporter, despite a brief dalliance with the Cats and Tigers in primary school years. Family connections to Port Melbourne and South Melbourne demanded loyalty to the Swans. The long wait for success was worth it.


  1. Nice one, Keiran! Strange, isn’t it, how this year doesn’t have us concerned at all – none of the anxiety and loss of sleep over a footy game! Hopefully, however, that will return at some point in the years to come.
    Cheer cheer

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