Parochialism is great, but only when there is an alternate view you can use to balance things out. There is no way both sets of supporters ever walk away from a game feeling completely satisfied. There is always a winner and a loser… or two teams that played to a draw and no one is happy.
In order to capture the feelings and thoughts of both teams, irrespective of the outcome, HB Meyers and Jason Irvine went into watching this game as fans with eyes only for one team. HB was all about his Hawks, whilst Jason wore the red and white of the Bloods.
Below is the dual review from two Mongrels with very different perspectives on the game. It’s the Hawks and Dees in what is ostensibly a season-shaper for both teams. Two Mongrels. Two points of view. One article. And one winner.
WHO WAS THE MATCH WINNER?
HAWKS – Well, we obviously didn’t have one since we didn’t win the match, but in the five minutes he spent forward, James Sicily looked like he could have pinched the game for the Hawks.
Of course, he didn’t and the move to send him there was a little bit late.
As it stands, it was Dane Rampe who was like a brick wall in defence, and Tom Papley, who was antagonistic and effective up forward for the Swans to drive them home.
In terms of the Hawks, only Sicily could be considered, but he pales in comparison to the bookend Swans.
SWANS – Tom Papley was the excitement machine in the Swans lineup, and his four goals catapulted him to overall first place in the Coleman Medal race at the conclusion of the game. The small forward used his pace all throughout the forward half, impacting contests, delivering the ball inside 50 and making his presence felt on the scoreboard.
Papley missed the first chance to goal in the first quarter, but his first two goals came within the same play. Papley crumbed a throw in, getting boot to ball for a goal. He then received a free kick from a deliberate errant elbow to the back from James Frawley as Papley trading words with Tom Mitchell, his opponent from that contest.
WHERE DID WE WIN/LOSE THE GAME?
HAWKS – There were a few spots we lost the game.
Throwing the ball on the boot without looking like they were playing in the seventies, kicking the ball off the ground at least 20 times when taking possession and putting your head over it was the preferred option. And probably the inability to hit a target coming out of defensive 50 were just three ways the Hawks let themselves down.
However, most of all, allowing a player to get two goals for the price of one was something that swung momentum noticeably. You could see how pumped Papley was about the situation and it made his team walk taller.
The emotion was genuine, his enthusiasm palpable and even though it was just before half time and the Hawks kicked the first after the break, it set the tone for the Swans.
SWANS –There were a few signs throughout, however Swans truly won the game within the final two minutes when Hawthorn were pressing hard and Sydney players were putting their bodies on the line with some pivotal smothers and intercept possessions.
However, prior to this, when the lead was semi-comfortable the Swans were swift in their transition and ability to switch the play. They looked to move the ball with ease through the corridor and wings and safely put it into the hands of their forward targets. This style was most evident in the first and third terms as Sydney looked to take the game on more and catch the Hawks out.
Sam Reid kicked the opening goal of the match as a deep kick from Aliir Aliir got into Nick Blakey’s hands before Reid converted to get the game going. The use of the corridor saw Jordan Dawson find Callum Mills before Tom Papley missed a set shot, but the signs of good ball use were evident.
Papley’s third goal came in the third quarter as Lewis Taylor, Aliir, and Blakey combined through the middle to get the ball to the top of the goalsquare where a waiting, front-and-centre Papley read a small tap down from Reid.
IF YOU WERE COACH, WHAT WOULD YOU HAVE DONE DIFFERENTLY?
HAWKS – Oh shit… where do we begin?
When you have a bloke like Tom Papley, who gets so many of his goals out the back running back toward goal, a goal keeper kind of player would have been something to consider. Given how poorly he was performing on the wing and half back, Isaac Smith is the bloke I would have thrown back there. He has the leg to clear the immediate area and thrives when left alone to play his role.
The first of Papley’s goals toward the end of the second quarter would have been cut off with someone dropping back into the goal square and therefore, in theory the second goal wouldn’t have been kicked either.
Secondly, sit someone on Jake Lloyd the same way people are sitting people sit on Sam Docherty at the moment. I don’t want to hear how the bloke doesn’t hurt teams– I have heard enough of it and if that’s your opinion you obviously didn’t watch this game. He was composed in picking up 34 god damn possessions as we just allowed him to run around by himself. Our mids were running at such a low percentage, and here is Lloyd running at 71% as he led the Swans in metres gained a well.
SWANS – There wasn’t too much that could’ve been done with many of Hawthorn’s scoring opportunities as they came from snaps and were the kind of goals that made something out of very little. Jaegar O’Meara kicked one in high traffic and Liam Shiels goaled on a tight angle along the boundary, as examples. In the Shiels play, Oliver Florent continued to chase as Shiels ran rings around him so a tighter defence could’ve been held had Florent pushed Shiels towards the boundary a little more and forced him to do a U-turn rather than chasing him in an arc.
Quite often, Sydney tall forwards found themselves out of position due to playing in front. When they had trouble reading the flight of the ball, it allowed the Hawthorn defenders to get the ball out the back. Even in one-on-one contests, and with each player pressed tight up against one another, the ball seemed to float a bit further than intended and this allowed the Hawk defenders to get first touch of the Sherrin. It appeared this was the case at stoppages too where Hawthorn were able to use a player out the back too often, which would force the Swans to scramble defensively.
John Longmire could’ve instructed his players to use their body a bit more, be stronger and engage their direct opponents early. This would have enabled them to create more contests and cause spills.
MOST UNDERRATED PERFORMANCE
HAWKS – Geez, I am scraping the bottom of the barrel here. I’d be better off naming the overrated ones.
Maybe Sam Frost. Perhaps Will Day.
Ah hell, I’ll settle on Liam Shiels. Always works hard, never gets the plaudits and you will never, ever question his heart.
I’m not counting Sicily in here as he is highly rated outside the club. Shiels… he is rated way more highly internally than externally.
SWANS – The most underrated performance from the Swans camp was Harry Cunningham who amassed 19 disposals with a 90% efficiency, well up in both regards to his season averages. The defender stayed deeper than he usually has this season but gathered some touches on each of the wings too which was important in the final quarter as the Hawks tried to belt the ball forward from defence.
He was the second-best tackler on the ground, wrapping up a Hawthorn player six times and rebounded four times with two inside 50s as he looked to get the plays continuing for the Swans.
THE MOMENT THAT MATTERED MOST?
HAWKS – You know what it was. Papley goals out the back and let Tom Mitchell know all about it. James Frawley decides that he doesn’t like that, and knocks Papley over.
The whistle blows, the umpire awards another kick to Papley and he slots both his first and second goals in thirty seconds.
I have to go on record – I hate that rule. As a dead ball, I have always wanted anything that happens after the goal is kicked to result in a free kick in the centre. It gives the forwards licence to do basically whatever they want and if they give a free kick away, the defence will be set and it’s not such a huge penalty. However if a defender steps out of line, the penalty is huge.
Of course, Cal Sinclair came in and knocked Tom Mitchell over less than two seconds after Frawley put Papley on his arse – if the free kick to Papley was there, the free kick to Mitchell should have been there as well.
SWANS – The moment that mattered the most within the scheme of the game was Papley’s double goal a few minutes before half time. Hawthorn were leading by a 14 points before the incident where Papley soccered through a goal, claiming a second chance after receiving a free kick.
It resulted in a two-point lead to Hawthorn and despite them gaining the first two scores of the second half, it was Papley again who popped up two of the next three goals in the third quarter to grow the Swans lead.
WHICH PLAYERS LET US DOWN THE MOST?
HAWKS – Not the conditions for him but Mitch Lewis managed one touch for the game. One.
There have been people screaming for him to be included in the side for weeks and here he gets his chance – one touch.
Jaeger O’Meara is just happy to throw the ball on his foot and doesn’t look like he gives half a shit where the ball goes. He hacked it off the ground, refused to look where he was kicking it. Including little handballs, he ran at just 40% efficiency for the game.
Not good enough.
Isaac Smith – when the going gets tough, Smith gets going. Yeah, he gets going to places where the ball isn’t.
Tom Scully – yeah he runs well. So does my fridge but it can’t kick the footy well. He ran at 21% efficiency in this one and I reckon he should be given a rest. We always hear about his unrewarded running – you know why it is unrewarded? Because he doesn’t do anything with it and therefore doesn’t deserve the rewards.
I might leave it there – I was always told never to write when I am angry, and after watching my team play like a local under twelve team, I am pretty annoyed.
SWANS – Sam Reid came in for this first game of the season and despite kicking the first goal of the game, didn’t do too much from that point on. For a tall forward target, he was largely out of position many times, was outmuscled across the ground and didn’t leap for a mark on occasion, due to being behind the drop of the ball by quite a distance. He did execute a nice tap down to Papley for the small forwards third goal of the game though.
Callum Sinclair was slow to get into the contest but gradually won the ruck contest with Ben McEvoy, finishing with a game-high 24 hit-outs. Sinclair had his worst disposal tally of the season (five) and with just two if those effective, and looked generally confused throughout the game as he gave away three free kicks.
James Rowbottom is as hard as a particularly thick cat’s head and looked okay across his 18 possessions. However, he turned the ball over with half of those possessions while giving away the same amount of free kicks as Sinclair.
PLAYER FROM THE OPPOSITION I ADMIRED MOST IN THIS GAME?
HAWKS – Dane Rampe. What a star.
He was everywhere, playing hurt and making life extremely difficult for anyone on the last line of defence. For years he has been in the top handful of defenders in the game and he showed why this afternoon.
He just reads the footy so well and puts himself in exactly the right spot at exactly the right time. And he does it time and time again.
Whether winning one-on-one contests or mopping up, he was flawless in defence all game. I can’t see how anyone else could possibly be considered as the best player on the ground.
SWANS – Chad Wingard popped up in the moments that mattered and was most deadly in the forward 50 as he had eight possessions to the half but went missing with just two touches in the final quarter.
Wingard has grunt and is able to break through the opposition defence. He proved useful in front of goals, despite not having the desired impact with a 1.3 score, including a miss in the last minute that could’ve got the Hawks within a point. He was involved in a lot of Hawthorn’s scores outside of that nonetheless.
Wingard had a game-high two tackles inside 50 which demonstrated his hunting nature.
HAWKS – I’ve lost faith in my team.
A good team can carry middling players, but Hawthorn are not a good team. Whilst we have players who are called stars, no one is playing at that level currently. They are stars in name alone.
That means blokes like Minchington (so many fumbles), Lewis (non-competitive), Josh Morris (finding his way) and Tom Scully (ineffective… continually ineffective) tend to start weighing the team down and the “stars” are not playing to the level where they could possibly cover them.
The side now requires people to do the heavy lifting, but it seems we have too many content to (and I hate using a Dwayne Russell-ism) make the footy someone else’s problem.
As soon as an opposition gets a whiff of that vulnerability, it spells big trouble. And the stench is quite strong at the moment.
Alastair Clarkson has his work cut out for him to extract some life from this team. Perhaps that should be his focus instead of whether Tom Papley milks free kicks, especially as we’ve had Paul Puopolo milking free kicks for ten years.
Yeah… not a happy camper, here.
SWANS – Sydney’s transition from the backline was slick and clinical and put them in a good position early on. The use of the corridor worked wonders, as did the long switch kick to open up the ground and despite looking like they wanted to get and go at every chance, they still took the time to look for the right options inside 50.
Their conversion was spot on with Papley’s behind in the fourth minute of the game their only minor score of the first half.
Papley’s goal on the run was wonderful. He ran almost 60 metres, taking two bounces along the way while being chased by three Hawks. Elijah Taylor was running alongside Papley, with some distance from the Hawks defenders, expecting a handball but when it became obvious that this was not ever going to come, he did the right things and came across for the shepherd.
Dane Rampe was the man who got the transition started from defence and wasn’t afraid to put his body on the line. He was the last line of defence, stopping plenty of goals as he marked uncontested after reading the footy better, and saved a certain Hawthorn goal in the fourth quarter when he just touched the ball with a backhand right next to the goalpost. This was one of his nine one-percenters for the match as he remained solid in the backline from an ever-present threat of his quick Hawks opponent. Rampe continually followed up his work, always looking for a ground ball get and keeping the ball in front in a best on ground display.
The pressure and smothering by Sydney, with Mills and Robbie Fox the main desperados, forced Hawthorn to kick along the ground and keep the ball moving that way as the Swans defence were too good when the ball look to travel through the air.
While the pressure wasn’t always prevalent in their forward 50 with two tackles inside 50, it didn’t mean that pressure didn’t come from other parts of the ground. Luke Parker had 33 pressure acts, almost 10 more than the Hawks’ best – Tom Mitchell.
Callum Mills saw more midfield minutes than he usually had this season and was far from his season-best 29 disposals against Richmond a fortnight ago when playing as a loose defender. Believe it or not, it was a welcome sign for Sydney fans for Mills to be back in the midfield. Whilst you love him with the footy behind the ball, his presence in the middle adds a bit with Kennedy and Hewett out. Only two of his 17 disposals came in the defensive 50 arc; the rest were collected between the two arcs.
Elijah Taylor looks an exciting prospect for the Swans. All of his eight disposals were contested as he featured in most areas of the SCG. His first AFL goal brought the Swans to within a couple of points in the second quarter and will be one he’ll remember. Taylor roved a contested ball out the back and ran a couple of steps before kicking around the body, tight along the boundary. He also showed great athleticism, taking off on a run along the wing, bouncing the ball once before hitting a pin-point pass to Nick Blakey. He can play
The Swans head into Round Nine with a date against the Saints, who are flying. The Hawks limp into a Friday night game against the Blues and are looking down the barrel of a bottom four finish if they cannot pull out a win.