Words: Tiana Bergmans – Photography: Bruce Bergmans
Friday, 18th September 2015
The Hawks sent a brutally strong message to their critics and doubters after their loss to the Eagles, by orchestrating a 74 point carnage of the crows on Friday night at the ‘G, in front of 70,879 fans. The Hawks have now booked themselves a blockbuster prelim for Friday night in Perth, with the Fremantle the only team standing in their way to their 4th Grand Final presence in 4 years.
The first quarter for the Hawks was nothing less than electrifying. The reigning premiers went on an 8 goal rampage, leaving the Crows and their fans absolutely stunned. Very few people expected the Hawks to explode like they did, especially after just returning from a tiring Perth trip, where they performed poorly against the Eagles, and lost key forward, Jack Gunston to an ankle injury.
The Crows had few highlights in the first quarter, few in the game for that matter. Jenkins and Dangerfield both executed two phenomenal goals, but the rest of the goal kicking was dominated by the Hawks. Luke Hodge came out making a statement for his side and for himself, after receiving a copious amount of criticism for his recent drink driving charges. He silenced the critics by kicking the first goal of the match, and proceeded to kick another 3 throughout the game, another in the same quarter. Suckling, Smith and Lewis also contributed to the rampage of Hawthorn, but it was Luke Breust, who did the most damage to the scoreboard. The powerful forward booted 3 stellar goals, after not being able to kick a goal since round 20 of the home and away season.
The Hawks led the goals in the first quarter because of their domination of marks in the forward 50. The Hawks made 10 grabs within their attacking 50, whilst the Crows were completely unsuccessful in that aspect of the game. With a dismal 2 goals and 2 behinds, the Crows had a deficit of 38 points and were definitely seen to still be in the game.
The Hawks quickly shattered Adelaide’s finals dreams with two quick goals from Schoenmakers and Bresut, drawing the margin out to 50 points. Tom Lynch represented a glimmer of hope for the Crows by kicking 2 goals, but he was the only one to do so which just wasn’t enough. Hodge also kicked another for the Hawks in the quarter. Despite winning the clearances by 5, the Crows were just unable to move the ball as efficiently the Hawks, which was very disappointing on the back of a dangerous looking win over the gallant Bulldogs the week before.
The woes of the Crows continued when Hawthorn exploded out of the ranks yet again in the 3rd quarter, with 4 superb goals from Roughead, Rioli, Breust and Hodge. Tex finally kicked a goal and Jenkins added another to his string of goals throughout the match, but that was about as good as it got for Adelaide, whose goal sneak, Eddie Betts, was held to a woeful one effective kick. Ben Stratton as outstanding at taming Betts throughout the game, who finished off with 9 possessions. Brad hill finished off another successful quarter for the Hawks with another goal to add to the scoreboard. The Hawks were playing a dangerously efficient brand of football, generating one more score from two fewer clearances than Adelaide and recording 6 fewer turnovers, yet outscored the Crows by 15 points in this aspect of the game. With a massive deficit of 10 goals, a Crows comeback was very unlikely at this stage in the game.
The Hawks simply continued to obliterate the Crows this quarter. Again, Jenkins was the only success story for the Crows, kicking another 2 goals. He kicked 4 in total, half of Adelaide’s total goals. The Hawks used the last quarter to intimidate next week’s opponents, the first placed Freo, with powerful goals from Puopolo, Smith, Roughead, Lewis and Breust. The Hawks were simply too good for the Crows, who finished 7th on the ladder this season. Hawthorn preponderated the disposals, 408-338 and had 16 more inside 50’s.
Despite being devastatingly unsuccessful on the scoreboard, the Crows were surprisingly successful in the statistics, with 47 hit outs, compared to 26 and 136 contested possessions, compared to 124.
For Hawthorn, Sam Mitchell was prolific, gathering 33 disposals. Luke Breust was arguably one of the best players in Hawthorn’s victory, with 6 goals, 8 tackles and 18 possessions. The skipper, Luke Hodge, was also in form with 4 goals.
For Adelaide, despite a disastrous outcome, there were some stars. Rory Laird had 30 touches, Jenkins kicked 4 and Dangerfield had a good game with 29 possessions and a sensational ‘banana’ style goal. In a negative for the Crows, their star midfielder, Patty Dangerfield, is expected to join the Cats in next month’s free agency period.
The Hawks will now travel back to Perth for a 2013 grand final rematch with the Dockers, but this time, it will be Freo’s home turf. The winner will earn the right to play in the most prestigious sporting event of the year, the AFL Grand Final.