Written by Rhys Knight & Jake Smith
The Hawks did sing a swan song on Friday night with ferocious pressure, elite use of the corridor and a much more mature and composed back half, which has delighted the fan base heading into the Queens Birthday long weekend. However, how did each player go?
Harry Morrison – Hurt his hamstring and was consequently subbed off, fingers crossed he’s back on the park ASAP but his eight touches, three score involvements and a goal were extremely handy.
Tom Mitchell – At times, he still presented himself as the sideways option to my ire but for four quarters, was one of the best on the park. Haven’t seen Titch tackle that much or that well in a very long time and against his former side, had 34 touches, four rebounds, seven tackles and a really classy goal around his body.
Jarman Impey – Was quieter than he has been in recent times with just the twelve touches but used it well at 75%. Went back with the flight on numerous occasions and when he played on Isaac Heeney, kept him in line and then some, with Heeney only having ten touches and having to be sent back to half back.
James Worpel – The story is about his ‘sling’ tackle but from the break of the stoppage, the ‘Worpedo’ had to take a step back as Mitchell, O’Meara and new boy Jai Newcombe took over inside the contest. Had 18 touches and six inside 50’s but for only six contested possessions, 55% efficiency is a touch sloppy.
Ben McEvoy – The skipper has had one of the more underrated years amongst those at Waverley but the rucks dominated the Swans and although we’ll get to the unbelievable work Jonny Ceglar did, 14 disposals (nine contested), seven marks (five contested), five tackles, five score involvements, four inside 50’s, 13 hitouts and a goal was an amazing performance by the captain.
Sam Frost – Buddy’s first five minutes was making the Snowman look silly circa Ben King style in Round 11 but then he took over. He worked Bud under the footy, had plenty of spoils, took five marks, had four rebounds and went on a couple of long runs that fans have been screaming for.
Shaun Burgoyne – Silk is getting closer to his 400th and fans are on the edge of their seat. Is being the role player he’s needed to be this year and with his twelve disposals, he went at 100% efficiency, had four rebounds and took a couple of grabs, but did drop an absolute sitter but hit a target with the resulting kick. All hail the great man.
Jaeger O’Meara – Looks as fit and strong as he did in the first two months of the year and the two ‘don’t argues’ on James Rowbottom and Callum Mills were bringing the proverbial tears to the eyes. 26 disposals (13 contested), nine inside 50’s, seven score involvements, five tackles, four clearances and was one of the best on ground for the Hawks.
Will Day – We just needed the young star to get through unscathed and when Sam Wicks decided to go at him thighs first, a collective breath rang out across television screens but he was okay. Ultra composed at 83% efficiency with his dozen disposals and he’s got 250 game Hawk written all over him and for him to get through the game was fantastic.
Jack Scrimshaw – For everyone claiming he’s a ‘Birch 2.0’, his overhead marking has got Birch covered for sure and goodness gracious, his composure is just incredible. 94% efficiency amongst 18 disposals (nine contested), had six rebounds, four marks and he’s one of a good group of Hawthorn youngsters.
Blake Hardwick – There’s always one player in every team who you can rely on bleeding your team’s colours and Dimma is it for the men from the Ricoh Centre. 18 disposals (six contested), five rebounds, four tackles, three score involvements and even a couple of clearances. The epitome of a fan favourite is the great man in a great number.
Dan Howe – Often maligned by Hawks fans, Howe’s first half was fantastic, hitting targets and not losing a contest. Playing mostly on a wing, he had 23 disposals, five inside 50’s, four marks, three clearances, three rebounds and was one of his better games for his career.
Jonathan Ceglar – Best on ground here at Talking Hawks HQ and for a late inclusion who genuinely dominated the contest, didn’t get talked about by the broadcasters at all really. So, how good was his night? 20 disposals (19 contested), eleven clearances, 35 hit-outs, four tackles, a goal, two contested marks and the best game he’s played at the Hawks.
Chad Wingard – Chad had another good performance with the third of four players with 18 disposals. Chad kicked a goal, had four score involvements and three three tackles, but struggled to stick his tackles and only went at 55%.
Tom Phillips – Best game for the club, hands down. For optimistic fans, Liam Shiels kicked the sealer, for fence sitters it was the Dylan Moore goal but for us pessimistic and real nervy types, it was Flip’s finish from 35 out that was the nail. 17 touches at 94% (10 contested), six score involvements, three clearances, four tackles, a contested grab, as well as two goals. Huge tick.
Luke Breust – Was well held by Dane Rampe for most of the night and looked just a yard slower than previous weeks but his blocking for Jacob Koschitzke was fantastic and you can tell his leadership forward of centre is imperative. Kicked the best set shot of the year too in the toughest pocket at the SCG and is still the Hawks’ leading goal kicker with 20.
Tim O’Brien – Had a dozen or more ‘almost moments’ and the frustration is that he doesn’t actually get beaten a lot but doesn’t beat his opponent. For a beautiful set shot, shanked a chance in the third quarter but had the best gut running effort of the night; took a kick in and pushed it 60 metres to the wing and by the time the Hawks entered forward 50, TOB had run the length of the field, competed in the air and Luke Breust crumbed and kicked the goal to end it.
Liam Shiels – The eye test showed a player who got his hands on the footy but maybe slipped under some radars but 21 disposals at 76%, laid seven tackles, took five marks, five inside 50’s, four score involvements, had a couple of clearances and kicked a goal to earn himself a big tick.
Changkuoth Jiath – Welcome back CJ! Long runs, always a look to move the ball forward, had a bunch of metres gained, an outstanding 28 disposals at 85% efficiency, had five inside 50’s and three rebounds, took four marks and had nine contested possessions. Welcome back CJ, it’s a genuine pleasure watching you in full flight.
Jacob Koschitzke – Only the five touches for Kosi but the attack on the ball on the lead, his ability to hit packs and the tenacity when the ball hits the ground are a seven or eight out of ten, which will only increase with another full pre-season to give him some more strength and helpfully a midfield group that can hit him on a lead.
Josh Morris – Came on as the sub for Harry Morrison and had three disposals and a tackle. Whilst it’s difficult to have a full rounded view on the ‘Tank’ given he’s been the sub a couple of times but his spot in the best 22 (or 23) is under threat from Lachie Bramble, Tyler Brockman and Jack Saunders.
Dylan Moore – Could almost call him ’18’ given he racks up his eighteen touches and this young man’s marking ability is simply outstanding for his size. Ten contested possessions, two goals, four marks and a couple of tackles, went at 72% and is the Hawks second leading goal kicker.
Jai Newcombe – Fourteen tackles? Can someone double check that? He had fourteen tackles! Was a handball first night for the young man and picked up thirteen disposals (seven contested), four clearances, three inside 50’s, two of his tackles were inside 50 and most of the justification behind the mid-year draft makes sense now, welcome to the Hawks Jai!
Newcombe, new pressure and new composure!