The Player Review – Round 23 vs Richmond

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Oh boy, what a finish! On the Melbourne Cricket Ground, even in front of an empty stadium, pages of history could still be inscribed on it’s walls, with it’s trademark dramatic flair and poetic justice.

The game bids goodbye to Shaun Burgoyne and David Astbury on the field, as well as Bachar Houli who unfortunately didn’t play.

Hawthorn fans will no longer look to the coaches box and see the little bloke who bleeds brown and gold, looking upset even if the margin was 70 points in a Grand Final, which every Hawk fan loves.

In the next chapter of Hawthorn history, we will look to our coaches box and see a little bloke who bleeds brown and gold and looks angry when things aren’t going well, even when 70 points up and demanding the best.

For the present and every day of Hawthorn’s future, we will be thankful for the work of Alastair Clarkson and his wife Caryn, whom without each other, couldn’t have given us the best 17 years in modern times.

For the incredible draw against Richmond, here is the player review:

Harry Morrison – ⭐️⭐️

Had seven disposals in the first quarter and looked genuinely on fire but faded a touch late in the game. Covered the ground nicely and took seven marks, plus his ball use was very good at 88% and had five score involvements. Unfortunately, his second half was quieter.

Mitch Lewis – ⭐️⭐️⭐️

One of the more underrated players in the back half of the year, Lewy finished off beautifully with a handful of marks, 2.1 with five score involvements, a dozen pressure acts and five hit outs from six contests! Even had over 100 metres gained, which as a key tall is a huge tick.

Tom Mitchell – ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

John Longmire was once quoted in saying, ‘if there was one football left on Earth, I’d send Tom Mitchell to find it’ and we share that sentiment to the absolute. Had another 36 touches at 83% efficiency, six marks, five score involvements and four clearances. Did have seven turnovers though which cost him the best on ground title but was still excellent.

James Worpel – ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Jimmy played a game that we haven’t seen him play before; an absolute burst performance. He looked one of the best for five minutes but faded out on occasion, however still managing to find the footy 25 times with seven marks, five score involvements and three intercepts. He didn’t attend many centre bounces, and his ball use let him down, with five turnovers at 60% efficiency.

Ben McEvoy – ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

The skipper has been unreal this year, without a lot of fanfare but was simply outstanding in our last game of 2021. 13 disposals playing a forward/ruck role, took an elite nine marks, laid six (count them, SIX!) tackles, six score involvements, four contested marks, three clearances and 17 pressure acts which ranked second for the Hawks.

Sam Frost – ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

The Snowman was unbelievable in his ability to make good decisions, even if it was a 20-metre chip kick or kicking on the 45. Frosty had 14 kicks in his 16 disposals, eight intercepts, seven marks, 325 metres gained, five score involvements, 88% disposal efficiency and between us and the very good readers, he was almost our best on ground, he was just that good.

Shaun Burgoyne – ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Words in an article this small won’t do Silk justice (keep an eye out for later content) but if you want to know how big Silk’s heart is, look at the dive to try and save Jack Riewoldt’s last goal. The man is an absolute legend and finished with 21 disposals, 372 metres gained, seven rebounds, five intercepts, three score involvements, three marks and 76% efficiency. Enjoy retirement Silk, we love you.

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Jaeger O’Meara – ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

The Jaeger Bomb should certainly poll votes this week, as he led the Hawks for metres gained with 425, and for the last 4-6 weeks has been roaming around the ground magnificently. Had 36 disposals going at 75% with seven marks, six score involvements, six clearances, 17 pressure acts, five inside 50’s and three rebounds. JOM was a millimetre off being our best on ground; he was unbelievable.

Conor Nash – ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Conor’s month of midfield madness and domination ended in spectacular fashion on Saturday. The Irishman picked up 24 disposals, was second with metres gained with 399 (one of 13 players with 240+ metres gained), eight marks, eight score involvements, five inside 50’s, four clearances and a goal. Huge effort and Sam Mitchell’s decision to play him as a midfielder is further proof of his wizardry.

Ollie Hanrahan – ⭐️⭐️

Ollie got caught with the footy a few times but didn’t fade out as much as he has in the past. Had 13 disposals and remained involved, but with Geelong and Gold Coast interested in his services, could he have played his last game for the Hawks?

Jack Scrimshaw – ⭐️⭐️⭐️

There always seems to be one player who surprises us in the Peter Crimmins Medal count, think Blake Hardwick in 2018, and this year I think Scrimma is that man. He has been simply extraordinary and finished the season with 25 disposals; 16 of them by foot, as well as seven intercepts, six marks, three score involvements and an unbelievable goal on his correct side, deep in the pocket. He also managed to go at 80 percent which is always handy.

Blake Hardwick – ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

How do you not love Dimma? Shut down Jason Castagna and didn’t let Shai Bolton get out of control at all. The No.15 had an extraordinary 381 metres gained from 20 disposals, eight rebounds, six marks, four intercepts, three tackles and double-digit pressure acts. I ask again; how do you not love this man? Continues to prove why he deserves that number on his back.

Lachie Bramble – ⭐️⭐️⭐️

To end the season, we were keeping an eye on the SPP selection we made at the start of the year, and he ended as cool, calm and fast as he began. Got called for running too far when it hasn’t been paid all year and got shafted on a few occasions with the forwards not hitting him up, but with 311 metres gained, four tackles, four inside 50’s, three intercepts, three marks, three rebound 50’s as well as double digit pressure acts. Take a bow my friend, take a bow.

Daniel Howe – ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Last year, Dylan Moore was able to save his career with some great late-season form and it appears that Daniel Howe has done the exact same. He’s gone from being the fan whipping boy (especially the first 6 rounds), to now our most dependable wingman and one of the hardest working players in the side. He finished the year with 25 disposals, eight score involvements, five marks, five inside 50’s, three intercepts and went at 88% efficiency. A massive congratulations from us at Talking Hawks to Howie for his unreal form, we cannot wait to see if he can continue it next year and beyond.

Jonathan Ceglar – ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Subbed out with a sternum problem and would’ve gone 20+ disposals again but got stuck on 19 and was still the dominant ruck on the ground. Eight clearances, four tackles (making that 10 from our two big men), four intercepts, four inside 50’s, 24 hit-outs and half a dozen one-percenters. The question is, has he saved his Hawks career, or has the trade value to another side increased? (*Cough cough, Geelong, Gold Coast, Adelaide and Brisbane, cough cough*).

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Chad Wingard – ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Jaeger, Titch and many others had dominating performances but for how they played, impact per possession, plus the ability to cover the ground and be dangerous in every moment, no one on the ground outdid Chad on Saturday, period. 30 disposals (half kicks, half handballs, half defensive end, half offensive end), eleven contested possessions, 15 pressure acts, eight score involvements, six clearances, five tackles, four inside 50’s and 2 goals gives him the nod for best on ground in a brilliant performance.

Tom Phillips – ⭐️⭐️⭐️

If last year you said to a Hawthorn supporter, we are going to get a wingman for Pick 68, he will play every game, averaging 18.45 disposals and kick 13 goals, what do you think? They would absolutely take it, and then some! Flip capped off his debut season with 16 touches, two goals, five score involvements, four marks, 14 pressure acts and the winner of ‘Ugliest but Accurate Snap/Checkside Award’, which is huge.

Tim O’Brien – ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Another member of the 300+ metres gained fraternity, TOB is an unrestricted free agent and his future is an interesting one now, where he’s put his hand up to a Collingwood, Adelaide, GWS or St. Kilda, as well as to Sam Mitchell. He finished 2021 with 18 disposals, seven marks, five intercepts, four score involvements and three rebounds. Loses a star rating for the handful of turnovers that resulted in two of Richmond’s goals but wasn’t a bad game by any metric.

Liam Shiels – ⭐️⭐️

Pup is contracted for next year but could potentially be asked to explore other options, with young midfielders in the wings ready to come busting through. 20 disposals, eight marks, four score involvements and 13 pressure acts read his day but did have 13 pressure acts and a poor tackling effort on Tom Lynch before Riewoldt kicked the last goal of the game.

Kyle Hartigan – ⭐️⭐️

Six intercept possessions was the stat that stood out for Hartigan, but his spoils and ability to get a hand in and disrupt the contest was a major highlight. Didn’t have a lot of the ball but didn’t need to and if it wasn’t for a poor umpiring decision, Tom Lynch’s Day would have been pitiful.

Jacob Koschitzke – ⭐️⭐️

Kosi got battered, bruised, bashed and out bodied on Saturday and whilst a lot wasn’t his fault, he did struggle in pack contests. When it was one-on-one, he was effortlessly more comfortable, but it just wasn’t his day with only five touches. Did lay three tackles though. He was visibly disappointed when Flip pinched one after both players had run hard to the goal square.

Tyler Brockman – ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Brocky looked like the offensive threat he has pushed to be since he returned to the side and finished with three creative snags. Five score involvements and four marks were fantastic, he also led the Hawks with 19 pressure acts but his defensive running was exposed at times, highlighting what will need to be a big pre-season focus for him. Really encouraging from the youngster.

Jai Newcombe

Came on as the sub for Ceglar late, had a couple of handballs and a clearance but we cannot wait for what this young man will deliver in 2022.

Overall, a solid end to the year for the Hawks boys and it would have been nice to come away with a win, especially considering we were five goals up late in the game. However, with superstars from both sides retiring, it seemed a poetic end for all involved.

The Hawks have finished the year strongly and will no doubt carry this momentum into next year and as we begin to write a new chapter in our clubs great history, it is over to you Sammy.

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