The Footy Almanac 2007 Round 19 – Hawthorn v Brisbane: Buddy v Browny

The first printed edition of The Footy Almanac came out in 2007, before we had a website. In the absence of a real 2020 season, we will be publishing the 2007 pieces for the first time ever on www.footyalmanac.com.au. Follow the season!

 

 

Hawthorn versus Brisbane Lions

2.10pm, Saturday, August 11

Melbourne Cricket Ground

TONY ROBERTS

 

THE PHILOSOPHER THOMAS HOBBES would have described Mal Brown’s 14-game VFL career with Richmond as nasty, brutish and short. Though his son Campbell Brown’s AFL career with Hawthorn will extend much further, Campbell has inherited all the other dystopian traits of his father.

 

Before the siren had started this match against Brisbane, Brown made it clear to Jared Brennan that he was there to play the man (or boy) rather than the ball. As the nearby goal umpire failed to intervene, I berated Brown in the same terms that Bomber fans would have used when Dad ignited the Battle of Windy Hill in May 1974. But I misjudged the sensitivities of the opposition fans; this was not ruthless Richmond (’74 edition) but Hawthorn, the family club. A Hawk fan in the row in front of me threatened retribution if I repeated “the F word” near his two young sons.

 

As Mr Hawk looked exactly like Campbell Brown, I complied and thereafter applied my concentration to the football match at hand. On the ground, Brennan also complied, which unfortunately meant that he didn’t apply himself to the football match. The ubiquitous butterfly that destroyed Collingwood hibernated against the Hawks. Except for the eternal Jonathan Brown and the new Duracell rabbit, Rhan Hooper, so did the other Lions forwards.

 

Charman’s early ruck dominance didn’t give Brisbane the break it needed. From the start, Hawthorn’s midfielders were busy – the pace of Brad Sewell, in particular, was not something that I had bargained on. The pressure forced the Lions playmakers back into the hesitancy that dropped them into the bottom four mid-year. Lappin and Adcock both crossed fifty with an open goal square ahead of them, but baulked and chipped the ball to no effect. By time-on, what might have been a four or five-goal lead was only two, soon eradicated by defensive lapses.

 

During the second quarter, Jonathan Brown kicked four goals – from contests, leads, turns and Hawk ruckman Simon Taylor’s overdone Houdini impression. Standard fare from Brown in the last month, enough to demoralise all the Lions’ previous adversaries. But those teams didn’t have Lance ‘Buddy’ Franklin (those first names may seem contradictory, but the sequence is irresistible). For most of the day, Franklin was corralled, spoilt and outrun by Daniel Merrett. Franklin’s first serious attempt at goal early in the second quarter barely evaded the point post. My friend Adam, the author of Maroon & Blue, down from Canberra for the Lions’ Kings of the Pride reunion and thrilled by his first live sighting of the old Fitzroy red jumpers since 1996, taunted, “Laaa-ance!”.

 

I reproved Adam for his hubris, a warning swiftly made flesh by Buddy’s next three possessions: lead and mark: goal; lead and mark to fifty: goal; and, on the half-time siren, lead and mark to 45, boundary line left. Before this last mark, the Lions were set to take a two-goal lead to the rooms. Logic indicated no serious damage – a point at best; Buddy indicated a banana kick. Logic lost, as most of us sensed that it would, and Brown’s heroics were trumped.

 

During the break, Adam reverted to his youthful anarchist days by finding himself sitting next to a young backpacker couple. “They’re from Barcelona!” he enthused. “Que?” we responded, ambiguously. At this point, my mind was more exercised by the clear and present danger of Franklin than that of Franco. Hawk Dave (the once-threatening father, but by now my new best friend, kind of) and I agreed that whoever broke open the so-far unresolved midfield struggle at the MCG would end the deadlock.

 

Well, after half-time, the answer came before Brisbane had handled the ball. Twice in that time, the formerly anonymous Roughead led Roe to the ball shooting out of the centre square, and the Lions’ lead had evaporated. A finger injury to Charman got Campbell and Taylor into business, and the Hawks midfielders won every contest that mattered. Crawford has won a Brownlow, Mitchell a Rising Star, Hodge was picked before Judd; you expect trouble from them. But Chance Bateman and Sewell also used the ball better than Black and Lappin, and only Power and Adcock could respond in kind.

 

By midway through the third quarter, Brisbane needed something to stay in the contest. Brown out-maneuvered Croad and a helper in the square and ran on to soccer a goal. But what Brown gave, the umpires took away. “Hands in the back”, so they said. By this stage, Brisbane’s forwards were playing so deep that first Rischitelli and then Brown broke free on the outer wing, only to be run down by Hawthorn defenders as they waited vainly for teammates to lead to the vacant corridor at the Punt Road end. By contrast, the constant barrage to the other end targeted Roughead, Dixon or Boyle as often as Buddy. This varied attack wore away the defensive polish and combination that had locked down recent Lions’ opponents.

 

Five goals down, Brisbane needed a quick shot of Malcolm Blight’s three-goal tonic in the last quarter. But the hawk had flown.

 

At the Kings of the Pride reunion for old Lions (and Bears) that night, I said hello to Gilbert McAdam, who had worked in my office before he left St Kilda for the Bears in 1994. It took my mind back to Round 16, 1995, when the Hawks got too hot at the Gabba and two clubs took off on very long journeys to foreign territory at the opposite ends of the ladder. The 2007 Lions looked to be on a similar charge to finals as the 1995 Bears, but the Hawks have spent the fruits of their subsequent poverty on drafting some very fine players who’ve probably stopped us cold this time.

 

They’ll make the top four.

 

 

Hawthorn  4.3 7.4 14.8 17.13 (115)

Brisbane Lions  3.4 7.9 9.10 13.13 (91)

 

GOALS

Hawthorn: Franklin 5, Roughead, Dixon 3, Hodge 2, Bateman, Boyle, McGlynn, Young.

Brisbane: Brown 6, Power, Stiller 2, Hooper, Charman, Copeland.

 

BEST

Hawthorn: Hodge, Mitchell, Sewell, Franklin, Bateman, Roughead, Brown, Guerra.

Brisbane: Brown, Adcock, Power, Charman,?Hooper, Merrett.

 

UMPIRES

Allen, Wenn, Avon.

 

OUR VOTES

Hodge (H) 3, Brown (B) 2, Franklin (H) 1.

 

BROWNLOW

Hodge (H) 3, Bateman (H) 2, Power (B) 1.

 

CROWD

39,007

 

 

For more Round by Round reports of the 2007 season click HERE

 

Printed copies of The Footy Almanac 2007 can be purchased here.

 

2007 Footy Almanac

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