Scintillating Hawks win AFL grand final

16/02/2019 Posted by admin

Alastair Clarkson’s side brought enormous pressure to the grand final, kicking nine of the first 10 goals before easing to a 16.


11 (107) to 8.13 (61) victory.

Jack Gunston kicked four goals, with Cyril Rioli, Sam Michell and Isaac Smith among the best afield.

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To a long list of tactical triumphs, Hawthorn coach Alastair Clarkson can now add finding a way to unpick the ‘Weagles web’.

West Coast’s defensive set-up this year has been a revelation, with the undersized back six brilliant at guarding space and denying their opponents scoring opportunities.

It is a system ideally suited to the long, narrow dimensions of their home ground at Domain Stadium.

But on the wider expanses of the MCG – a venue the Eagles were playing at for only the second time this year – it unravelled.

#ThreePeat pic.twitter苏州半永久眼线会所,/hu428UGqIu

— Hawthorn FC (@HawthornFC) October 3, 2015Freddie’s first flag #PlayYourRole pic.twitter苏州半永久眼线会所,/f261cpWUfG

— Hawthorn FC (@HawthornFC) October 3, 2015SIREN: Eagles well beaten by the greatest team of this century Well done @HawthornFC a masterpiece #AFLGF #goeagles pic.twitter苏州半永久眼线会所,/glREzf68Eh

— West Coast Eagles (@WestCoastEagles) October 3, 2015

No one capitalised better on the defensive breakdown than Cyril Rioli, who ended the 46-point victory with two goals, four score assists and a thoroughly deserved Norm Smith Medal.

“We’ve been performing really well throughout the year at beating forward lines that have really good talent,” said Eagles coach Adam Simpson.

“We tried a couple of things but he’s just a bloody good player.

“He’s a competitor, he can compete with any tall and he’s probably the best in the competition at ground level.

“Hawthorn play in a way where they look for him and there’s a connection with their ball use which I’m sure you all saw today.”

Jack Gunston was another notable beneficiary, his four-goal haul giving him a total of 12 in the past four grand finals – the most of any current AFL player.

The Eagles were also hampered by a poor goalkicking display, with skipper Shannon Hurn and the experienced Sam Butler missing easy shots in the second term.

Midfielder Jack Darling and Luke Shuey also butchered gilt-edged scoring opportunities early in the third term when the match was still up for grabs, only for the Hawks to rush the ball down the other end and kick vital goals.

“It was a combination of their pressure and getting exposed by turnovers,” said Simpson.

“Sometimes you can fumble and you can not quite handle situations, but you don’t get punished like you do when you play Hawthorn.”

Former Demon James Frawley was another key figure for the winners, keeping Coleman medallist Josh Kennedy scoreless.

“I thought our forward line was a bit off today as a whole unit, but the Hawks’ defence was a really solid back seven and our supply wasn’t great,” said Simpson.

“We had 40 inside 50s and we average 55.

To say it was our midfield that was disappointing, I think the collective, the whole way we played today, was one of our poorer games.”

Hawthorn fans could not contain their joy on social media, posting celebratory messages. 

What a team!!! Proud to be calling it early #Hawks2015 #3peat #PlayYourRole #AFLGF YES!!! pic.twitter苏州半永久眼线会所,/2RcCjhXRB5

— Shane Crawford (@SCrawf9) October 3, 2015What’s that noise? It’s deafening, And it’s coming from Perth. Oh wait it’s ok, it’s just a pin dropping! #PlayYourRole #AFLGF

— Kat Blackburn (@KatBlackburn) October 3, [email protected] i’am a Happy Hawkette #3PEAT #HawthornHawks pic.twitter苏州半永久眼线会所,/fDb7AKBIFc

— Michelle Hawkette (@hawk_michelle) October 3, 2015

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