Some context to another classic

Andrew Young Roar Pro

By Andrew Young, Andrew Young is a Roar Pro

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11 Have your say

    My junior football career was nothing to write home about.

    Plonked at full forward, I would find myself sorely out of position week after week.

    I was rarely a source of defensive pressure, and on the odd occasion I had a shot for goal, the novelty of the situation would generally see my right leg nervously poke the ball wide.

    On Saturday afternoon, after a clash with Jarryd Roughead, Pat Dangerfield also found himself in the goal square. From that point on, his performance was a procession of strength.

    Having limply reappeared after quarter time, he was missing a characteristic burst of speed in the middle of the ground that led to a turnover, and saw the ball in the hands of Hawthorn’s skipper a quick forward 50 entry and a goal to Luke Breust. Tom Mitchell and Isaac Smith followed suit to give the Hawks a handy buffer.

    This was to be the real test for a midfield that is consistently reliant on too (or should that be two?) few.

    The dynamic duo, dubbed ‘Dangerwood’, could no longer work in tandem through the middle of the MCG, and Geelong would be exposed for what they are – a team lacking depth. As Tom Mitchell finished the first half with 27 possessions and two goals, Hawthorn were nicely positioned to claim a significant scalp, and give their favourite son, Luke Hodge, a victory he truly deserved.

    The members happily munched on their half-time pies and there was a buzz of expectation and excitement – despite having slotted two to half time, Paddy was injured, his influence in the second half could be negligible at best, and without him in the centre, captain Joel would only be a dynamic Uno.

    What followed left 70,000 suitably stunned. Repeatedly unable to leave the forward 50, or provide repeat efforts, Dangerfield overcame an incapacity to run, and played a second half reminiscent of the old-school full forward.

    Clunking anything that came in his airspace, the Hawthorn defenders took turns trying to stop him. Perhaps the 300 gamer summed it up best after chopping the Geelong star’s arms in a marking contest, observing to Ray Chamerlain, “Have you seen how high he jumps?” He was nigh on impossible to stop, and would have been a lock in for another three votes, but for his wayward kicking.

    Indeed his influence was monumental, but what allowed for this? His role for the majority of Saturday’s match was one not seen in the football of today, and it relied on precision delivery and supreme efforts from his teammates higher up the ground; playing the role he normally does, putting the ball on a platter to the forward line.

    Sam Menegola’s 50-metre tracer bullet to the punt road end that found Danger among a flock of Hawks; Steven Motlop running through the circles and delivering with precision; and Jordan Murdoch demonstrating the speed that won him the grand final sprint, combined with effective ball use. These are the kinds of players Geelong have been looking at for a while now to stand up in the midfield – and with Dangerfield not there, they did.

    Combine this with an ever-reliable backline – the flare of Zach Tuohy and the wily likes of Harry Taylor and Tom Lonergan – and one has to think the Cats just won’t go away. Declared ‘too old and too slow’ in 2011, they have defied the odds before, and today’s performance across all lines suggested maybe there is a little bit more there than meets the eye.

    Of course it helps that Smith missed on the siren, but as Hodge mused post match, “that’s footy.”

    As for Danger, he finished with five goals and 20 touches. Watching from the nosebleed section, my father suggested “that’s a season’s worth for you Andrew”- before correcting himself, “make that a “career.”

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    The Crowd Says (11)

    • Roar Guru

      July 16th 2017 @ 3:23am
      Peppsy said | July 16th 2017 @ 3:23am | ! Report

      Maybe Hawthorn not having Frawley, Birchall, Stratton or Gibson ment that if he wasn’t on hodge he was playing on someone with 60 or less games experience, and therefore had an easy matchup even with a sore leg

      • Roar Guru

        July 16th 2017 @ 3:47am
        Peppsy said | July 16th 2017 @ 3:47am | ! Report

        Hawthorn won nearly every major stat, losing only contested marks (13-10), tackles (61-52), free kicks (27-21), intercepts (67-64), and marks inside 50 (14-12), with the last one almost certainly due to the undermanned defence. Hell they somehow won tackles inside 50 despite missing two of the best pressure forwards in the game in Rioli and Puopolo.

        Across the season Hawthorn are 8 spots below Geelong in both clearances and contested possessions, and won them both in this game. The midfield didn’t stand up in Dangerfields absence, it was lucky to scrape by against a statistically below average one.

        Today’s performance across all lines shows that Geelong only beat a severely undermanned team that’s 13th on the ladder because they happened to be better kicks for goal on the day. I would be very worried if I was a Geelong supporter, very worried indeed.

        • July 16th 2017 @ 6:24am
          James said | July 16th 2017 @ 6:24am | ! Report

          Peppsy are you are dillusional? As a Geelong supporter why would I be worried? You aren’t paying hawthorn even close to ounce of respect they deserve. Hawthorn beat the crows, drew with gws and Geelong beat them. So if you’re saying hawthorn is the barometer of how teams should be feeling, than Im feeling a lot more confident than any crows or GWS supporter would be feeling right now…
          But obviously no where near as confident as a Gold Coast supporter who before Geelong was the last team to beat the hawks.
          You’ve heard it hear first Gold Coast 2018 premiers!

        • Roar Guru

          July 16th 2017 @ 8:46am
          Cat said | July 16th 2017 @ 8:46am | ! Report

          Well I am not worried at all. If your side lost Titchell out of the middle, you’d struggle for any centre dominance, just like the Cats did after Dangerfield was relegated to the forward 50. If Dangerfield wasn’t playing on one leg maybe he kicks straighter and bags 10.1 instead of 5.6 and the game is over much earlier.
          We’ve been winning all season without ANY fit small forwards. Sure ours don’t have the name recognition of yours but they have roles to play and Cockatoo and McCarthy especially apply a hell of a lot more pressure when they are in the side.
          As Dave mentioned, if Scooter plays Tom Mitchell doesn’t have nearly the impact he did. Scooter is averaging 12 tackles a game, that’s quite a bit of pressure lost. Mitchell had 19 in the first quarter with no tag. he had 24 touches in the remaining 3 quarters combined after Blicavs went to him who isn’t half the stopper Scoots is.
          We can both sit here and moan about injuries, all clubs have them, or you can just man up and admit it was just another in a long ling of classic and close Geelong v. Hawthorn games. Like all the other rivalries in the AFL, the Derbies, ANZAC game, Queen’s Birthday, Blues v. Pies, form and ladder position means little, either side can win.

      • July 16th 2017 @ 7:08am
        Dave said | July 16th 2017 @ 7:08am | ! Report

        You want to bring in injuries as an excuse, that’s fine. Though the Cats were missing some handy players too. S. Selwood plays and T.Mitchell is lucky to get 30 touches, A. Mackie was also a late out and is having one of his best seasons in years. You can talk in”what ifs” all you like, reality is, Hawks lost, get ovet it.

      • July 16th 2017 @ 9:18am
        Bruce said | July 16th 2017 @ 9:18am | ! Report

        Having Gibson out was a positive. Stratton and birchall were missed though. Hawks will again be contenders in 2018 I think, with rioli, poppy back in the side. They’re playing as well as any side in the comp right now.

        • Roar Pro

          July 16th 2017 @ 9:20am
          Andrew Young said | July 16th 2017 @ 9:20am | ! Report

          I tend to agree- their form as the season has gone on, has suggested we can’t expect them to struggle down the bottom of the ladder for extended periods.

    • July 16th 2017 @ 4:53pm
      Jonas said | July 16th 2017 @ 4:53pm | ! Report

      We’re a happy content team at Hawthorn?

    • July 16th 2017 @ 4:53pm
      Jonas said | July 16th 2017 @ 4:53pm | ! Report

      We’re a ? team at Hawthorn! Seen enoegh satisfaction to last my lifetime! Even enjoying the development of this year.

    • July 17th 2017 @ 10:30am
      Birdman said | July 17th 2017 @ 10:30am | ! Report

      Andrew might be putting a fair bit of mayo on how the lesser lights in the midfield stood up with their pin point kicking to Danger. In fact I thought Menagola, Motlop and Murdoch had pretty average games but you can’t diminish Danger’s gold class performance even if he it was against a developing defensive unit.

      In fact it was Selwood in the second half who made the difference in the midfield.

      Cats are flag contention (while Hawks are def. not) but that also suggests that the Hawks’ last month is a measure of real team development.

      All said and done when these two sides play, football’s the winner.

      • July 17th 2017 @ 10:56am
        Birdman said | July 17th 2017 @ 10:56am | ! Report

        Oh and how good is Menzel and why doesn’t this guy get the real credit he deserves?

        So effective and dangerous with each disposal – scored 4 on the weekend and hardly rates a mention in dispatches – ridiculous

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