Friday, September 16, 2016

View from the Outer, Semi Final, Hawthorn versus Western Bulldogs

After being flogged to see us go out in straight sets from the finals, it would be easy to go headlong into recriminations.


It pays little respect to a Western Bulldogs opposition who were like men possessed and were fabulous throughout. Never panicking when they were 22 points behind 22 minutes into the 2nd quarter and summoning the resolve to fight back hard to be even pegging at the main break and blitzing after.

Luke Bruest was added to all Bulldogs supporters Christmas list after an inexplicable miss that would have blown the lead out to 28 points.

Arguably breaking the backs of the young Dogs.

After, the Scrays fully exploiting the weakness in the Hawks midfield that has resembled the glass jaw on a boxer all year long and comprehensibly knocking the reigning champs out. The 161 to 111 mauling in the contested possession represented a domino chain making the rest of our departments cave in. The defence was courageous in standing firm against the tide of midfield dominance but after the young Dogs raised their heads in entering 50 they blew us away.

We had no answers, with the soft underbelly in our 22 exposed with too many passengers on the bus. It is easy to focus on lesser lights as part of this, but a stand out was a vindicated legend in Josh Gibson. Who has dominated when allowed to zone off as a free man in defence but after the Cats exposed him last week by making him accountable, the Scrays did the same tonight.

The other standout was the once fearsome forward line having no viable targets forward after the stoppers were put on Cyril Rioli. The absence of Jarryd Roughead proved telling and while the only thing that matters is the young man's return to health the reality was the pursuit for the 4Peat ended with him being out.

Looking Forward 

Expect some major dealing in the trade market. We will get Tyrone Vickery in free agency which will help our forward line. The main interest is how we will get both Jaegar O'Meara and Tom Mitchell to the club. Their willingness to join is irrelevant, it will be whether we can meet the cost for them in player exchange and who this might represent.

Expect to see some shock departures.

Player Ratings:

Taylor Duryea- 5/10 

Honest without ever being decisive as a defender or on the rebound out of defence

James Frawley-6/10

Did his job on Tom Boyd

(BOG )Shaun Burgoyne-7/10

Arguably our best with him one of the few who can win a contested ball in the midfield

Luke Hodge-6/10

Was ok without ever being the decisive force he has been in the past in the biggest games

Josh Gibson-3/10

Makes a huge difference when you have to be responsible for a man rather than zone off as a spare man in defence

Grant Birchall-4/10

Ok without ever slicing through the lines with his run and foot skills

Isaac Smith-5/10

Average without ever being definitive

Sam Mitchell-5/10

Workmanlike without ever reaching his normal destructive level

Bradley Hill-5/10

Teased a lot, but only pleased on a few occasions

Luke Breust-1/10

Gets a 1 for the inexplicable miss in the second when the team had momentum and the goal would have blew the margin out to nearly 5 goals.

Killer blow

Jack Gunston-2/10

Rarely seen

Cyril Rioli-4/10 

Great in the first half but very quiet after. With him being Hawthorn's only viable forward option the teams chances ended when the Dogs collared his influence

Paul Puopolo- 1/10 

Must have thought he was back in 2012 after a similarly dreadful finals series

Jack Fitzpatrick-5/10

Honest, and tried his heart out

Ryan Schoenmakers-1/10

Invisible man

(BOG )Ben McEvoy-6/10

Tried his heart out and one of the better performers

Jordan Lewis-2/10

After being brilliant last week looked slow and out of his depth tonight

(BOG)Liam Shiels-7/10 

Best on ground for the Hawks

Ben Stratton-4/10

Tried his best

Brendan Whitecross-4/10

Honest goer

James Sicily-2/10

After scoring the first goal was rarely sighted afterwards

Billy Hartung-0/10

Got nowhere near it all night and it was a gaff bringing him in for Daniel Howe.

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