No wonder they are a "Happy Team at Hawthorn." They just won back to back Premierships! Last year the Hawks started favourites against Fremantle and delivered. This year they started as underdogs and crushed the Sydney Swans by a huge margin of 63 points.
In the traditional program entertainment the 99,454 crowd were revered up by UK performers Sir Tom Jones and Ed Sheeran. As the first quarter unfolded nerves were high as each team wrestled for an advantage. It only took the first few minutes of the second quarter for the wrestle to start to swing towards the Hawks. While Sydney missed shots at goal the Hawks slowly added to their lead.
With a surgeon's skills the Hawks shut down the Swans attack and dominated up forward. Hawks forwards Jarryd Roughead and Luke Breust applied constant pressure to the Swans defence. Cyril Rioli did not disappoint.
Six minutes into the game he was in the thick of the action showing no sign of the hamstring injury that had him out most of the season. The psychological damage had been done and Sydney had lost its free flowing play. Errors, defensive turnovers, you name the stat and the Swans were in trouble.
And unlike their 2014 session the Swans were unable to turn it around and went down. They never looking like staging a comeback.
Any time there was a hint of Swans play moving forward the Hawks would shut it down and then bang home another goal. It was a satisfying win for the Hawks faithful as they could relax and watch their team cruise to victory.
The best on field, the Norm Smith Medal, was voted from selected media judges Nathan Buckley (ABC Radio), Chris Johnson (NIRS), Cameron Ling (Channel 7), Anthony Hudson (SEN 1116), and Craig O'Donoghue (The West Australian).
The winner was Hawks captain Luke Hodge.
People are already saying this is going to be a dominate Hawthorn team that could see finals over the next five years. Looks like they will be happy for a few years yet.
HAWTHORN 5.5 11.9 16.11 21.11 (137)
SYDNEY 2.3 5.3 8.5 11.8 (74)
For the initiated: These figures above represent the score line at the end of each of the 4 quarters of the game. A goal is given a value of 6 points (kicking the ball between the taller central posts) and a behind is a value of 1 point (when the balls passes through the two outer posts).
At the end of the 1st Qtr - Hawthorn had scored 5 goals and 5 behinds. Do the maths = 35 points. Sydney had scored 2 goals and 3 behinds. Do the maths = 15 points.
The final points tally are in the brackets above.
Jeremy Dover is a former sports scientist and pastor
Jeremy Dover's previous articles may be viewed at www.pressserviceinternational.org/jeremy-dover.html