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I’m not one who likes mixing politics with sport but it should be noted there have been some unusual trends in the world of sport lately. In the US, Major League Baseball announced that it’s moving the 2021 All-Star Game and the 2021 MLB Draft out of Georgia, in response to the state’s new voting law. Over here, there’s a move to force Carlton to change its club song because the original song on which it was based (written in the late 1800s) has “racist connotations”. The Blues maintain the current version of the song, “Lily of Laguna”, was changed several decades ago and, in any event, their theme song doesn’t have a racist bone in its body. I hope the controversy gets resolved but I wonder where this movement to cancel anything that offends is going to lead us?

Personally, I’ve been offended by the sight of Hawthorn guernseys for a very long time. It began when I was just a kid in the early 1960s when the Hawks started kicking the Demons around the park. When they beat us in the 1961 second semi and effectively ended our pursuit of a second threepeat in less than a decade, my sensibilities were so hurt that I couldn’t sleep for a week.

This state of affairs continued for decades. Hawthorn premiership stars of the 70s like Leigh and Kelvin Matthews, Alan Martello and Michael Moncrieff were all plucked out of the Chelsea region immediately before that area became zoned to Melbourne. Their great goalkicker Peter Hudson chose the Hawks ahead of us even though his cousins, the Minton-Connells, were with the Demons. Later on, the Jarman brothers snubbed us in favour of them (even after we had drafted Darren). Then there was the humiliation of the ‘87 Preliminary Final and the ‘88 Grand Final. The bastards even refused to merge with us in ‘96 and then continued to belt us for a decade while they won premiership after premiership. It’s little wonder that the sight of those sickening brown and yellow stripes offends me to the core (and I leave aside all connotations to bodily functions from this equation).

Yes, it’s about time we gave some serious thought to cancelling the Hawks. When I come to think of it, now is the perfect time for it all to happen. They’ve lost their last three games this season and now is the time to make it zip four. They have lost their last three games against us - starting with the 2018 semi final - and now is the time to make it zip four for them (and when was the last time that happened?). And let’s go back to the concept of club songs. Does anyone really believe that they’re a happy club at Hawthorn these days?

But in the final analysis, it’s never the song, it’s the singer. Melbourne’s “singers” are its players and they’re all singing together from the same hymn book. As Christian Petracca said after last week’s game against Geelong, the boys are playing together as a team. It’s one for all, all for one and they’re doing all the things that are necessary to cancel out the once mighty, high flying Hawks.

So come Sunday, the hundreds of our fans who bring along their  cheeseboards replete with the “Cheers” brand of the product for sustenance will be celebrating the long awaited cancellation of the brown and gold menace with a 59-point victory for their Demons.

THE GAME 

Melbourne v Hawthorn at the MCG Sunday 18 April 2021 at 3.20pm 

HEAD TO HEAD 

Overall Hawthorn 87 wins  Melbourne 78 wins

At the MCG Hawthorn 46 wins  Melbourne 38 wins

Last 5 meetings Hawthorn 2 wins Melbourne 3 wins

The Coaches Clarkson 2 wins Goodwin 3 wins

MEDIA

TV live and on demand on Kayo and live on Foxtel. Check your local guides.

Radio - check your local guides.

THE LAST TIME THEY MET

Melbourne 14.7.91 defeated Hawthorn 7.6.48 in Round 7, 2020 at Giants Stadium

This was a Demon master class inspired by Max Gawn’s ruck domination and the brilliance of Clayton Oliver and Christian Petracca on the ball. The forward line with Sam Weideman 3 goals and Bayley Fritsch and Kozzy Pickett, 2 each, functioned beautifully in another pleasing performance that underlined the team’s recent improvement.

THE TEAMS

HAWTHORN

B:  C. Jiath 29 K. Hartigan 28 B. Hardwick 15

HB: D. Howe 17 Sam Frost 8 J. Impey 4

C: J. Scrimshaw 3 T. Mitchell 3 L. Shiels 26

HF: D Moore 36 T. O'Brien 23 S. Burgoyne 9

F: L. Breust 22 J.  Koschitzke 34 C. Wingard 20

Foll: B. McEvoy 7 J. Worpel 5 J. O’Meara 10

I/C: C. Nash O. Hanrahan H. Morrison T. Phillips

Sub: J. Cousins Emerg:  T. Brockman J. Ceglar M. Hartley 

In: O. Hanrahan J. Koschitzke C. Nash

Out: T. Brockman (managed) J. Ceglar (omitted) M. Hartley (omitted) M. Lewis (suspended) 

MELBOURNE

B: T. Rivers 24 H. Petty 35 A. Tomlinson 20

HB: C. Salem 3 J. Lever 8 J. Hunt 29

C: A. Brayshaw 10 C. Oliver 13 E. Langdon 15

HF: K. Pickett 36 T. McDonald 25 N. Jones 2

F: A. Neal-Bullen 30 L. Jackson 6 J. Melksham 18

Foll: M. Gawn 11 C. Petracca 5 J. Viney 7

I/C: M. Brown 38 M. Hibberd 14 Jordon 23 C. Spargo 9

Sub: T. Sparrow 32 Emerg: O. Baker 33 M. Daw 28 N. Jetta 39 

In: M. Brown M. Hibberd H. Petty

Out: B. Fritsch (hand fracture) N. Jetta (omitted) S. May (facial fracture) T. Sparrow (omitted)

Injury List: Round 5

Sam Weideman (leg) — 1 Week

Ben Brown (knee) — 1 to 2 Weeks

Bayley Fritsch (hand fracture)  2 Weeks

Steven May (facial fracture) — 2 to 4 Weeks 

James Harmes (wrist) — 3 Weeks

Marty Hore (knee) — Season

Aaron Nietschke (knee) — Season

PreviewRd052021.png

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