Sport AFL Too precise, too good, two flags

Too precise, too good, two flags

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Full-time – Hawthorn 21.11 (137) defeated Sydney 11.8 (74)

That’s it, the Hawks have done it, breaking records along the way, with their 10-goal thumping of the Swans to go back-to-back premiers.


A truly stunning and quality display of football, the Swans so highly fancied heading into the game but beaten in every department of the game. Best for the Swans Franklin, Kennedy and Malceski – but with too many of their stars missing today.

Clarkson joins the elite company of coaches to win three premierships and Hodge also finishes his milestone game with a another premiership and among the best players on the ground.

Shattering for Adam Goodes, who is unlikely to play on next year, and also Franklin who made the big money to the Swans this year, only to have his old team-mates question his decision throughout the afternoon.

Big crowd, 99,454 at the G today.

More reports to come.


Three-quarter time – Hawthorn 16.11 (107) lead Sydney 8.5 (53)

Will Langford has been outstanding for the Hawks. Photo: Getty

It’s Hawthorn’s flag.

Sydney threw everything at the Hawks early in the third term, but they couldn’t trouble the scorers and Roughead’s second goal put his side up by 49.

Gunston’s second goal, taken after a strong contested mark on the 50-metre arc, was a dagger, but back-to-back majors from Kieren Jack and Lance Franklin kept the Swans in it.

Matt Suckling’s snap put Hawthorn up by 50 once more, and some precise, quick delivery that would have made Australia Post proud from Hill to Roughead – who goaled – killed the Swans’ resistance.

Will Langford’s third – a miracle dribbler from the boundary – effectively started the party.

Sydney skipper Jarrad McVeigh is having a stinker, but he’s not alone there. The Hawks have just been too quick, too strong, too precise and too good.

Half-time – Hawthorn 11.9 (75) lead Sydney 5.3 (33)

Hawthorn takes one of the biggest half-time leads (42) in grand final history with six goals in the second quarter, a half of football that has the Swans and their fans feeling a little shattered.

Lance Franklin has two first-half goals.

There was a brilliant moment where Rioli intercepted in the back line and speared a pass into Jarryd Roughead who goaled, and the Hawks now look strong to take their back-to-back flags, although Sydney are never out of it.

Clarkson would be pleased with the pressure the Hawks have applied around the stoppages, usually an area of the game the Swans dominate, but also in the strength of the defense. Lance Franklin has kicked a couple for the half but looks a lone hand in the forward line, his tall compatriot Kurt Tippett virtually unsighted in the first half.

Worrying for the Swans is that their much-touted offense has not fired at this stage, mainly due to the pressure applied in the middle. Tellingly, the two leading possession-winners so far are Luke Hodge and Sam Mitchell, whilst Burgoyne has been his usual classy self in defence and Langford continuing his stunning finals series with a close to best-on-ground performance in the first half.

  Quarter time – Hawthorn 5.5 (35) lead Sydney 2.3 (15) As you’d expect it was a nervy start from both sides, with plenty of heat in the contest, and Alastair Clarkson surprised by starting Cyril Rioli in the middle. Gary Rohan appeared to hurt his jaw in an early clash with Sam Mitchell, but came back on, and Grant Birchall shrugged off a leg knock sustained in the first four minutes. A long bomb from Josh Kennedy gave the Swans the first major of the game. Buddy Franklin missed a tough shot from outside 50 after marking on the lead, and Dan Hannebery missed a running effort moments later. Paul Puoplo brought up the first for the Hawks, slotting a set shot after marking on the lead from a Matt Suckling kick. Buddy got on the board after a strong contested mark, during which he copped some treatment from Brian Lake, but Luke Breust responded immediately to level and a snap from Brad Hill had the Hawks out by a goal. The poise of Jordan Lewis and Shaun Burgoyne was important as the Hawks got on top late in the quarter, and when Jack Gunston kicked his first – after a couple of misses – Hawthorn were on top. A late snap from Will Langford put Hawthorn out by 20 at the first change. The Hawks look the better side here – harder at the contest and their skills are holding up better. Sydney need to find something.


Cyril Rioli reaches for the sky in the first quarter.

Anthem: Olivia Newton-John gets the honours for the national anthem, does a terrific job as expected, and now the bounce is only minutes away. Unbelievable crowd. Has to be 90 thousand at the MCG today.

Pre-game: Both teams almost on the ground now and the Hawks banner says it all: Luke Hodge 250 games Our warrior, Our captain – what an amazing career for one of the most respected men of the game. Boy do the Hawks need him today, especially with the threat of Lance Franklin and Kurt Tippett.

In pictures: that one day in September
Playboy Buddy against the working class heroes 
Buddy: the most famous AFL player ever

Hawthorn v Sydney – AFL premiership decider

Good afternoon, and what a glorious day for the biggest game of the year, 24 degrees in Melbourne, light winds and beautiful sunshine, and the best two teams of the AFL season fighting out for a place in history and the big cup at the end of proceedings.

If you listen to the social media machine this morning, there’s a huge expectation the Swans will lift the Cup this afternoon. Even The New Daily’s tipsters have spoken, and they are mostly predicting a Sydney win, but the editing desk this afternoon – Roy Fleming and Greig Johnston – are big Hawks supporters and believe they can go back to back.

We’ll be bringing you some updates through the afternoon, and full match wrap-ups and analysis by the best in the sports writing business, as well as the musings of the twitterati.

Enjoy the day, stay with us, and hopefully we’ll have a very close game.