Hawthorn v Sydney - The Good, Bad and Ugly

The Swans once again went on the road and came away with the points. Down at three quarter time, the Swans rode their youngster, Ben Ronke’s seven goals to take the points against the Hawks.

Here’s the Mongrel’s good, bad and ugly.

 

THE GOOD

Ben Ronke

How could you start anywhere else? Third game in the red and white, and he slams home seven goals to almost make Swans fans forget about the big number 23 who wasn’t present.

Ronke showed more than just nous around goals – his ability to stand up in tackles was a real highlight. For a young guy, he was so balanced and poised, waiting for tackles to slip off him before committing to an action.

His seventh goal was the sealer for the Swans, and you’d think a performance like this cements a spot in the Sydney team for the next little while.

In addition to all that, Ronke is the first player in history to have seven goals and 10 tackles in the same game. Amazing.

Gary Rohan outpoints Sicily late

Now, this might be a little controversial, as Rohan spent a bit of time being beaten by James Sicily, but when it mattered, Rohan stood up.

Early in the last quarter, he ran hard at a contest between wing and half forward. Sicily trailed him to the contest and Rohan flew at it. Sicily looked as though he thought it would drop behind to him – it didn’t. Rohan clunked it. The Swans were poised to strike

Minutes later, they struck, and again it was Rohan in the mix. A panicked kick from Isaac Smith across the half forward line was up for grabs. Sicily was there, but it was Rohan who wanted it most. He went for the ball, running with the flight of it, and ended up taking it uncontested. It was him that banged the ball to the goal square, landing it in the lap of Ronke.

Meanwhile, Sicily complained to the umpires. It wasn't their responsibility to man-up Gary Rohan, James - it was yours! 

Shaun Burgoyne

Burgers started pretty poorly – caught holding the ball twice, leading directly to goals, but boy did he fight back!

I’m not sure I have seen Burgoyne tackle so fiercely as he did in the last quarter. He nailed a couple of tackles that stopped Swans in their tracks, and he was the Hawks’ leading disposal winner, with 26 touches. Keep in mind, he is 35 years old and working back from a hamstring injury. The Hawks needed their young guns to stand up, but it was Burgoyne who answered the call. They should be a bit worried about that.

Ollie Florent

You know what I liked about Florent tonight?

It wasn’t the 24 touches. It was the willingness to take the game on. I saw him get caught with the ball a couple of times as he tried to step around tackles in the last quarter, but there he was again, with the game in the balance… what was he doing?

He was stepping around tackles, and this time, he was doing it successfully! He was involved on the wing as the Swans surged forward late, and then, it was his measured, and frankly, bloody brilliant kick around his body that landed with Parker for the go-ahead goal.

That kick was the kick of a veteran. In that situation, you wouldn’t have blamed him for slamming it on his boot. Florent didn’t do that, though. He pulled the kick to land it 25-30 metres out where Luke Parker sat waiting.

George Hewett stops Tom Mitchell

Take a bow, George. People talked up Ben Jacobs’ performance on Tom Mitchell, but this was even better.

Mitchell had 20 touches, but Hewett had 23. He hassled Mitchell at stoppages, and had Mitchell’s hands not been so quick at points, he may have held him to a much lower total. Longmire gave Hewett a job, and he did it better than anyone expected.

His tackle on Burgoyne in the first quarter led directly to a Ronke goal.

Jake Lloyd

This one comes with a sting in the tail.

Lloyd compiled 36 touches tonight, filling the void left by an underperforming Josh Kennedy. He drifted back in defence and was integral as the Swans staunchly held the fort against the Hawks in the second quarter.

The sting is that Lloyd has just put contract talks on hold. Perhaps the Swans may be even more eager to re-open them?

Jack Gunston

He was very, very unlucky not to get a holding the man free kick that would’ve put the Hawks in an almost unassailable position in the last quarter. It went unpaid.

That aside, Gunston was spectacular, duelling with Ronke at the other end, and finishing with five goals. His combination with Luke Breust continues to be very difficult to stop.

 

THE BAD

Parker on Impey

Believe it or not, I have something else for the ugly.

This was an incident that Parker would like to have over again. Both players appeared to be going for the ball, but Parker turned his body and his hip smashed into Impey’s head. I kind of feel for Parker- he had to go, but I think he just went a little bit too carelessly.

Impey was reaching for the ball, and it was in dispute. I don't like it, but I can’t see Parker getting through the next 24 hours without a week holiday.

Taylor Duryea unable to stick tackles

The stats tell me that Duryea had no tackles. That would be because every tackle he attempted was broken. Ben Ronke made him look like the third gamer in their contests.

Duryea has been a player who has incurred the wrath of Hawthorn supporters for a while now, and they will have the knives out for him again tonight. He had seven goals kicked against him, and couldn’t stick one tackle. Back to the VFL, mate.

Isaac Smith’s panic kick

Talk about going from the penthouse to the outhouse…

Smith took the handball from McEvoy and just threw it on his boot. Rohan made the kick look worse than it was, by running his guts out to mark as Sicily watched on.

THE UGLY

Wayne Carey

Now, I am not one of those blokes that whack Carey at every opportunity like your standard reddit user fishing for upvotes, but his call that it was Jarman Impey’s fault that Luke Parker collected him in the head was one of the more idiotic statements of the season.

Impey went for it, and like it or not, Parker crashed into him, splitting his head open. And Wayne thinks it is Impey’s fault for "leading with his head"? No, no, no…

Maybe Carey was trying to launch an early defence for Parker, but it came across as silly. No way Impey was at fault here.

OTHER BITS

The Hawthorn midfield as a whole was poor as a whole. Not only was Mitchell beaten, but Jaeger O’Meara couldn’t get a sniff either. His 14 touches are far below what is now expected of a premier midfielder, and was his lowest total of the year. Too much was left to the workmanlike Liam Shiels in and under.

Gunston’s hands early were a real highlight.

Sicily looked fantastic early in the game. Nine touches in the first saw him dictating terms across half back.

Ronke’s second goal was conjured from nothing. He simply worked harder back when the ball was loose to get in front of Duryea and soccer it through. It was an effort goal.

Jarrad McVeigh’s  ability to hold the ball for a second or two extra was really prevalent in the first quarter when the ball came to him at half forward. Instead of blazing away, he took the responsibility, held on for a little while longer, which gave Gary Rohan a chance to lead into space. McVeigh then hit him perfectly, giving the defender no chance to spoil. Rohan then shanked the kick… oh well.

I thought Frawley was pretty good tonight, but he is a ball-stopper when he gets it. Very rarely does the ball move quickly when Frawley gets hands on the ball in a sequence.

I thought Ryan Burton could’ve gone back a little harder on Tom McCartin in the second quarter. McCartin marked, and Burton made a semi-effort to get a hand to it. Disappointing.

Not sure how long Hawthorn’s patience with Tim O’Brien will last. He cannot complete marks and is put out of contests too easily. If bringing the ball to ground is all that’s expected of him, then so be it. I would be expecting a few more marks.

Ronke’s step around McEvoy was always gonna happen. Even McEvoy knew it… and he almost caught him as a result. Almost, however, is not good enough.

O’Meara dropping an uncontested overhead mark on the wing in the second summed up his night perfectly. That, and his out on the full shot at goal in the third.

Callum Mills was very unlucky to give away a free to Gunston in the second, when the replay showed Gunston had a handful of Mills’ jumper.

Brilliant read of the play, and front and centre snap by Isaac Heeney. Burgoyne came over the top with the fist, and Heeney was in exactly the right spot.

Geez there were a few dropping the ball decisions late in the second that were let go. Two in particular stood out. Frawley completely dropped the ball and seconds later, Josh Kennedy did the same. It created a real scrum in the Sydney attacking 50, and this reluctance to make a decision when two infractions are painfully apparent is what creates stoppages and congestion.

Will Hayward’s snap in the second quarter came under pseudo-pressure from Sicily. The Hawk defender looked reluctant to commit, and Hayward took what Sicily gave him and snapped a nice goal.

Impey’s step past the Sydney players on the boundary was incredibly nimble. I have no idea how he got past him.

Sydney’s team defence late in the third was incredible. They just absorbed multiple forward entries by the Hawks and repelled time and time again. They threw their bodies in, dived across kicks, and willed the ball back out into open space. It came back, and they did it all over again. As great as they were late, there’s a couple of minutes in the second of excellent, desperate defending.

Josh Kennedy appears to be playing a cameo role this season. He had one great quarter against Geelong, then a very good game last week, and tonight, it was back to being pretty ordinary.

Loved the way Gary Rohan bounced to his feet after knowing he hadn’t marked it. He then gave a nice fend to buy time, rather than laying on the ground pretending to have marked it.

The commentators screamed about James Sicily’s one-handed pick up. Not so much talk about the ensuing handball right to a Swan.

Zac Jones was good in the third – loved the way he stepped around the Hawthorn player when he saw nothing up ahead in the third. Being able to hold that ball for a few more seconds allowed Tom McCartin to make space and clunk a mark.

Nice contested mark from Breust about 35 metres out. He is having such a great year. Needed to thank Blake Hardwick for that, who won a one-on-one he didn’t look to have much chance in, which allowed Langford to bomb inside 50.

The Swans looked the better team for long periods of the third, yet Hawthorn outscored them 4.2 to 1.3

Sloppy defence from Hawthorn to start the last quarter, allowing Hayward out the back.

Probably poetic justice that Ronke kicks his sixth, as Jack was clearly infringed in the marking contest several moments before.

A couple of Swan defenders seemed to spoil the ball through with their face tonight… can’t see it catching on.

Iffy decision against Langford robbed Roughead of a mark 25 metres out. Technically, it was there but so much of that kind of stuff was let go – you have to be consistent, right? Maybe not…

Grundy’s one-on-one mark against Roughead was almost the turning point in the game. Grundy got rid of Rough too easily, for mine. No way a backman should get an uncontested chest mark in what should’ve been a contested mark situation.

The ball was stuck in the Hawks’ forward line for a long while during the last. As so often happens, as soon as the Swans really broke free, it resulted in a goal.

And that’ll just about be that. Great win to the swannies. If only they could grab a win or two at home. If you like what you’re getting from The Mongrel, please give us a like on Facebook, or a follow on Twitter. We’re not that bad…