The Footy Almanac 2007 Round 22 – Sydney v Hawthorn: Unexpectedly brilliant and ready for finals

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 Follow the season!



Sydney versus Hawthorn

1.10 pm, Sunday, September 2

Sydney Cricket Ground



AFTER ADELAIDE HAD BEATEN COLLINGWOOD on Friday to keep the Saints out of the finals, this game was a dead rubber for the Swans. They were destined to finish seventh or eighth regardless of whether they won or lost. Hawthorn, on the other hand, had to win to retain a place in the top four. Their incentive seemed greater. I expected the visitors to get the four points, especially as they had been in fine form thrashing the Bulldogs in Round 21 while the Swans had their colours lowered by the Magpies.


It was a sparkling spring day in the Harbour City for Fathers’ Day. Unlike Mothers’ Day, when attendances drop, this match was another sell-out, albeit a misleading sone. Ground renovations meant that only 27, 500 were required for the HOUSE FULL sign. The Swans have been compensated for the inconvenience of renovations – a far cry from the raw deal the club used to get in the ’80s and ’90s.


After a sumptuous breakfast of bacon and eggs on toast, cooked by the bride and served by my 11-year-old son, we were picked up by my workmate who lives in the next suburb. We arrived at the SCG in plenty of time to test that the beverages in his corporate box were cold and to see the Swans Reserves give another unknown Canberra team a thrashing.


The pre-match entertainment featured a lap of honour by former members of the Army Reserve who had served in active duty. Some had fought in Korea. Many wore Swans scarves, while one bloke had the temerity to wear a Hawthorn scarf. He got a cheer – it’s a jolly old crowd in Sydney.


The Swans were without Barry Hall, but welcomed back Leo Barry from a hamstring injury and Lewis Roberts-Thompson for his first senior game of the season. The Hawks left inexperienced trio Xavier Ellis, Travis Tuck and Thomas Murphy out of their starting line-up.


A superb 60-metre goal by Buddy Franklin 36 seconds into the match suggested the Hawks had come to play, but what followed was amazing. The Swans went on a rampage like a rhinoceros with a badly lacerated ulcer. By the end of the term they led by 28 points after kicking five straight goals to none. An explosive 9.2 to 2.1 in the second quarter had them 71 points up by half-time.


The Swans took their opponents apart across the ground, starting with the shutdown of the Hawks’ midfield. Adam Goodes was brilliant. He burst through packs like a bull through cobwebs and won more kicks than Peter Reith at the bottom of a union maul. In the centre, Kirk attacked the ball with the single- mindedness of a rampaging Viking, while Craig Bolton was so tight in defence even the wind couldn’t get past him.


Hawthorn showed more fight in the third term when it outscored Sydney 6.2 to 4.0, but the closest they got was 53 points. In the end the Swans won the second half by a single point. Swans supporters lapped up the victory. It was a romp in the park. The Hawks were out of the top four and the Swans finished seventh.


At the after-match function, I caught up with old schoolfriend and football teammate from Rochester, Brigadier-General Brian Dawson, who is Patron of the Army’s Australian football team and presented the Army Reservists to the crowd. His next military assignment was to command the Australian troops in Iraq.


While the top eight AFL clubs were about to battle for the premiership, the Brigadier had a different fight on his hands.



Sydney  5.6 14.8 18.8 22.9 (141)

Hawthorn  1.2 3.3 9.5 10.9 (69)



Sydney: Davis, O’Loughlin 4, O’Keefe 3, Crouch, Malceski 2, Bevan, Mathews, Goodes, Richards, Ablett, Barlow, McVeigh.

Hawthorn: Dixon, Taylor 2, Franklin, Boyle, Ladson, Hodge, Brown, Roughead.



Sydney: Goodes, O’Keefe, Kirk, C. Bolton, Davis, Barry.

Hawthorn: Crawford, Vandenberg, Lewis, Mitchell.



Croad (Hawthorn) 200 games.



McBurney, Stevic, McInerney.



Goodes (S) 3, Crawford (H) 2, Kirk (S) 1.



Malceski (S) 3, Goodes* (S) 2, Kirk* (S) 1.






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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