Words: Tiana Bergmans – Photography: Bruce Bergmans
Saturday 8th of August 2015
The Hawks managed to hold off the persistent and gallant Eagles during a wet and windy affair in Perth on Saturday night to win by 14 points. Despite their domination throughout the game, the Eagles couldn’t stop the Hawks, who kicked 5 goals in the last quarter, compared to only 2 from the Eagles.
Both teams had a few significant outs. The Hawks lost David Hale and Brian Lake, whereas the Eagles were missing ruckman Nic Naitanui due to the sad passing of his mother in Fiji.
The Eagles had a fantastic first quarter, kicking 5 goals to Hawthorn’s 2, which gave them a comfortable 18 point lead over the premiership favourites. Jack Darling was particularly spectacular, contributing 2 goals within the first quarter.
Eagles mascot before the game.
The Eagles failed to maintain both attacking and defensive pressure in the second quarter which really hurt them on the scoreboard. Hawks greats were let loose, with goals from Roughead, Birchall, Burgoyne and Puopolo reducing Hawthorn’s deficit to a mere goal at half time.
Cripps booted his second in the third quarter and usual suspect, Josh Kennedy slotted his 3rd goal and then went on to kick his fourth in the last quarter. The Hawks didn’t make it easy for the Eagles, constantly putting on the pressure. A string of behinds from the Hawks adversely affected their scoreboard success, with many missed opportunities to get in front of the Eagles before the last change. But with each behind, the Hawks slowly crept up on the Eagles, leaving them trailing by only 8 points.
Sun sets over domain stadium.
The last quarter had all 34,843 fans at Domain Stadium on the very edge of their very wet seats, after some atrocious weather in Perth. The Hawks were quick off the rank with goals from Shiels and 150th gamer Cyril Rioli, before the Eagles could even alter their own score.
In a thrilling last quarter, the Eagles failed to score until the 15th minute, with Matt Rosa breaking the drought. There was still a glimmer of hope for the Eagles who only trailed by a few points. Superstar Josh Kennedy banged his fourth through to cause an eruption of cheering throughout the stadium.
Like the rain dampened the ground, 3 majors from Hawks stars Breust, Burgoyne and Roughead dampened the spirits of the high flying Eagles, who despite their desperation on the field, couldn’t stop the Hawks.
Despite the poor conditions, many players delivered phenomenal performances on Saturday night. Andrew Gaff finished on 35 disposals, followed by teammate and 2014 Brownlow Medalist Matt Priddis who finished on 28. From the Hawks, Sam Mitchell cleaned up with 36 disposals and Jordan Lewis finished on 30 touches.
Josh Kennedy was potent yet again in the attack of the Eagles, finishing up with 4 stellar goals. His outstanding performances game after game have seen him take charge of the fierce Coleman medal race. He has kicked a total of 62 goals, putting him 14 goals ahead by second places GWS star Jeremy Cameron.
Both sides played an outstanding brand of footy, highlighting why they are both serious premiership contenders. Despite their loss, West Coast are clinging onto second spot by two points. Freo, however, are on top of the table and remain 10 points clear of the Eagles and 12 points ahead of the 3rd placed Hawks.