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ON THE NOSE by George on the Outer



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One of the Hawthorn Football Club’s valued sponsors is Azep® Nasal Spray and given the thrashing handed out to the Hawks in today’s game, it would appear that they need a huge supply of the sponsor’s product because they are simply on the nose.

This condition was caused by the sheer dominance of the Demons, led magnificently by skipper Max Gawn with 27 hitouts and 22 disposals including two clearances. Around him in the middle were Christian Petracca with 29 touches, Clayton Oliver (also on 29), Jack Viney (19 with 6 tackles) and Angus Brayshaw (16) who collectively made the Hawthorn mids look like under-age footballers.

The makers of Azep® Nasal Spray claim that their product “works in 15 minutes” which is precisely what happened for Hawthorn in this game. They led Melbourne until just after the 15 minute mark of the first term when Mitch Hannan booted the team’s second goal which levelled the scores. After that nothing worked for Al Clarkson’s men.

In the end, the result blew out to a 43 point win, but when the Hawks challenged in the the third quarter, the Demons simply responded with more of the same and blew the half time difference of five goals out to seven. Importantly, the Melbourne set up and defensive structures denied Hawthorn their traditional possession, kick and chip game.

Time and time again, they found nowhere to go with no options other than down the line. And there waited the giant figure of Max Gawn who took eight telling marks, nearly all contested.

Hawthorn’s other avenue to goal, Isaac Smith was blanketed completely by Brayshaw and Aaron vandenBerg on one wing, which allowed Ed Langdon to run riot on the other. It wasn’t just the touches Ed amassed, but the run and carry which simply upset the opposition’s defences, since they didn’t know whether to stay back or come forward.

With all this drive from up the field, the forwards had a party. Firstly, Bayley Fritsch with a couple of majors early on, then Kysiah Pickett, Harley Bennell and Hannan again chimed in with more before half time.

However, the big effect was from Sam Weidemann and Luke Jackson who combined for four goals between them by simply taking the tallest and best Hawthorn defenders away, leaving the Melbourne smalls to have their own field day.

Best on ground was Christian Petracca, who produced the type of game that the Melbourne faithful have been wanting to see now for a couple of years. Brute strength and a strong vertical leap troubled the opposition all game, and he is now playing with the confidence which will see him become something special in the future.

Once again, the backs held together strongly. The addition of Oscar McDonald has been the missing link in the defence, and he just plays that goal-keeper role so well when he doesn’t have to play on the oppositions best and biggest forwards. Steven May and Jake Lever can just go about their business, Oscar becomes the back-stop and Michael Hibberd and Christian Salem run it out to start the attacking moves up the ground. The whole line just worked like clockwork, so barring any injuries this should be the defence to stay in place for the season.

Harley Bennell showed his adept skills again with some telling touches early on, and while he faded in the second half, it was to be expected since he has been a long time out of the game. While he remains uninjured, his confidence builds, his fitness will improve and he is becoming the good news story of the season.

For the second week in a row, the defensive structures were right. The two tall forwards proved not only right, but a vital component of what became a seven goal win. With Max dropping back into the defence, and Jackson picking up the ruck duties up forward everything went the way the doctor ordered.

This brings the side to within a game of the eight with a game in hand. The season is back on track, and the players are playing an exciting brand of football. It wasn’t just a win, it was the sort of football that the fans want to see — even if they can’t be there to see it!

While the winds blowing down Glenferrie Road, Hawthorn are smelling decidedly foul, things are different down Melbourne way where we are sensing a very different and more pleasant fragrance that promises something exciting in the breeze. The club still has virtually a full list to choose from, it definitely has a new found belief and is working its way into form. It remains to be seen what this belief can produce from here but it also promising something that smells very, very nice!

MELBOURNE 3.2.20 7.3.45 11.6.72 14.7.91

HAWTHORN 1.2.8 2.3.15 4.6.30 7.6.48

GOALS

Melbourne Weideman 3 Fritsch Hannan Pickett 2 Bennell Jackson Melksham Petracca Viney

Hawthorn Gunston 3 Wingard 2 Morris O’Meara

BEST

Melbourne Petracca Gawn Oliver Viney May Weideman Langdon

Hawthorn Frost Sicily Day Henderson Gunston

INJURIES

Melbourne Nil

Hawthorn O'Brien (left ankle)

REPORTS

Melbourne Nil

Hawthorn Nil

UMPIRES Fisher Deboy Fleer

VENUE Giants Stadium

ReportRd072020.png

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