Round 7 – Hawthorn v Sydney: Revenge

Saturday 11th May 2013

Melbourne Cricket Ground

Revenge. The word on every Hawthorn supporter’s lips. The Swans stunned the football world when it knocked off the favourites to lift the premiership cup for 2012. That was a shocking day for all Hawks supporters and they wanted revenge.

On a magnificent Saturday night that would set the stage for a chance at redemption. I for one wanted this revenge as much as every other hawks supporter gearing up for the game. All day the weather had been fine and would set up a ripping contest in great conditions on the hallowed turf that is the Melbourne Cricket Ground. All day I had been ripping and ready for this game and it didn’t disappoint.

I leap out of the car and head my way around to Gate 5 at the Punt Road End and I see Swans 2012 Premiership Guernseys everywhere. I continue walking become hungrier for redemption. I take my seat at the Punt Road End and take a quick glimpse around at the wonderful skeptical that is considered as one the greatest sporting destinations in the world. I look around at the teams warming up and quickly notice that the big ‘Mummy’ was not out there for the Swans and Brent Guerra was also missing for the Hawks. Two big losses for both sides as they are both very key players in more ways than one.

As the first bounce nears I am joined by my Uncle along with my younger brother (both very passionate Hawthorn supporters). We briefly discuss the game ahead and before we know it, the players are out and we are ripping and ready to go. The siren sounds, the ball is held aloft and we are underway. Hawthorn flies out of the blocks and much to the delight of the Hawthorn faithful. The Hawthorn midfield run riot and running goals are at many. The Hawks supporters are on their feet and are amazed at the way their team is ripping the swans to shreds. The football being played is sublime by the hawks and they go into halftime with an overwhelming 23 point margin. Buddy was on fire early and looked as though he was back after two shockers in a row (much to the delight of the standing hawthorn supporters sitting behind me). Hodgey was ‘pulling the strings’ all around the ground and continued to do so throughout the game. The domination didn’t stop there as Hawthorn continued their assault by piling on more goals. Sydney looked in all sorts and was getting dominated in all areas of the ground. Down back ‘Gibbo’ (Gibson) and Lake were holding their own down back and were repelling every Sydney attack. Sydney just couldn’t get anything going. Just coming towards half time, Hawthorn manufactured another brilliant midfield manoeuvre and Burgoyne ran to the 50 and drilled it home. The Hawthorn faithful were on their feet but one of the shocking calls of the year had Burgoyne’s run deemed as too far! All eyes turn to the big screen and for those at home; watch the replay that clearly indicates a false call by a long shot. He would have been lucky to have run 10 meters! This would have stretched the margin out to a daunting 46 points but instead we had to settle for a 40 margin at half time.  A half that many would say could not be beaten by the Hawks and were delivering revenge on the team that stole the 2012 Premiership. The second half saw a little more even encounter and saw the Brownlow medallist Adam Goodes move into the middle. This move seemed to work as the swans were finally putting up a fight with the Hawthorn midfield. Josh Kennedy and Kieran Jack provided some support for the Brownlow medallist and steadied the Sydney ship. Despite their efforts the margin remained and the Hawks finished up as 37 point victors. There was further controversy with the video referral system being used twice. One correctly and the other terribly wrong. The terribly wrong coming to the disgust of the Hawthorn fans and will be a major talking point during the week. Firstly, the umpires confront each other for almost a minute discussing whether to go to the system (you have the system for a reason now use the thing) and then when they do the referral shows the ball crossing the line before its touched but the decision is reversed and called a point. The whole Hawthorn faithful are on their feet yelling abuse at the umpires and followed by the famous cry of BULLS***! What was a ripping display of football was dampened by very poor umpiring. The final siren sounds and Hawthorn are victors. The umpires are booed off the ground but overall it was another happy team at Hawthorn. Gunston stood up in the second half and proving as a handy forward, Roughead looked as though he was back to the heights of early last year, Hodgey, Mitch and Sewelly provided the class in the middle, Birch was providing plenty of run off the half back line and racking up possessions and Stratton was great down back along with Gibson and Lake. Young Duryea was a shining light also down back and looks a player for the future and Breust was zipping about.  A polished display by Hawthorn and come out of a tough start to the season with just the one loss and the scalp of last year’s Grand Final nemesis. I look to the games ahead as a breeze with GWS, Gold Coast, Melbourne and the bye to come. I go home a very happy supporter as well as thousands of others.

About John Harms

John Harms is a writer, broadcaster, publisher, historian, speaker and teacher. He loves stories.

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