5 Takeaways From Geelong Match Sim

Share This Post

By Staff Writers 

It wasn’t the result that fans expected and there is an epidemic of overreaction to practice games (Collingwood at Morwell last year anyone?) so Timmy and Smithy came up with their main takeaways from the outing against the Cats. 

The Ferg is the Word 

Timmy Newman 

With Mitch Lewis out for an extended period of time with his strained ACL, Hawthorn were looking to test the forward line structure and combination to see what would work.

Against the reigning premiers, the man who had plied his trade at Box Hill over the last two years, put his hand up for selection in the opening round against Essendon.

Greene led beautifully to the ball and was constantly giving the midfielders a leading target, which saw him on the receiving end of some entries into the forward 50.

He hit the scoreboard and looked dangerous against a backline including All Australian defender Tom Stewart and that is a massive plus for a forward who plays well above his height.

With 30 seconds to go in the fixture, Greene was still giving his absolute best, showing what an asset he will be in the young, inexperienced forward line, which gives him 

a massive tick of approval. 

Good luck to the unlucky Dons defender that underestimates him in Round 1. 

The Hawk Highway Is Real

Jake Smith 

It was obvious when watching the Intraclub game a week ago and it only took 20 seconds on Thursday to confirm, the Hawks Highway is the game style. 

The Jarman Impey goal to open the match was just a microcosm of what we can expect in 2023, daring play through the corridor. 

Sam Mitchell, Senior Coach of the Hawks of the Hawks speaks to players during the AFL Match Simulation between Geelong Cats and Hawthorn Hawks at...
Sam Mitchell chats to his troops after a lackluster first half | Getty Images

It was a James Sicily kick to a leading Lloyd Meek through the centre of the ground that set the goal up, with some Chad Wingard magic sprinkled in. 

While it didn’t work all the time, evident by some killer skill errors, this is the game style that the Hawks want to and will play. 

The instinctual move from all Hawks players during the game when taking a mark or getting a free kick was look in the corridor. 

Long gone are the days of controlling the ball around the boundary line, the Hawks Highway is here to stay!

The Duke Is The King of the Midfield

Timmy Newman 

With the departure of Tom Mitchell and Jaeger O’Meara at the end of the 2022 season, a lot of pressure was going to rest on the PCM runner up and AFLPA best young player. 

Newcombe in 2023 will continue to be the leader of the midfield, with a gluttony of others rotating through. 

The 22 year old  showed  against the Cats midfield that he is the man for the job and that the pressure of leading the next wave of Hawthorn midfielders wouldn’t phase him.

His clearance game against a star studded Cats midfield was strong, his decision making was top class and his work rate was through the roof.

He hit the scoreboard in the second half of the game and showed that he is continuing to bring his form from last season into the new season, while showing that he can work both ways and using his impressive footy smarts and skills to bring others into the game.

James Worpel of the Hawks handballs during the AFL Match Simulation between Geelong Cats and Hawthorn Hawks at GMHBA Stadium on February 23, 2023 in...
Jimmy Worpel is under the spotlight in 2023 and the match sim didn’t cause his stock to rise or fall | Getty Images

The Second Year Stars Are Shining Bright 

Jake Smith 

Despite the result, there is something seriously special about the 2021 draft class and they showcased why against the Cats. 

Josh Ward missed the entire first quarter but asserted himself immediately in the second quarter highlighted by a beautiful forward 50 entry, hitting the chest of Fergus Greene. 

Connor MacDonald played that familiar high half-forward role for the entire match and consistently impacted the game with his gut running. 

MacDonald has put on some muscle over the off-season and looms as someone ready to push into that midfield mix despite playing his role beautifully.

Lastly, without Luke Breust for the day, Sam Butler stepped up and played well. 

Despite not getting the production on the scoreboard, Butler’s manic pressure up forward stood out. 

The second rounder got higher up the ground and got his hands on the ball as the game went on. 

Although the present was grim, the future is undoubtably bright.

Will’s Day Is Coming 

Timmy Newman 

The former first round draft pick has always been highly touted at Hawthorn, but unfortunately over the past few years due to injuries, we haven’t been able to see Will consistently on the park.

After intra club promise and open training glances, we saw a glimpse of what the 2023 Will Day will be.

Day has increased his size, building up his light frame to ready himself for the rigours of playing more time in the midfield instead of off half back, where Hawthorn currently has a plethora of options.

Day was able to use his football smarts to be able to burst away from a few stoppages before using his great decision making to be able to hit the best available option.

His increased size meant that he was able to hold his own in stoppages, while he still has his speed to be able to sprint away when he is given an ounce of clear space.

He didn’t look out of place playing through the midfield, and based on what we saw in his efforts against Geelong, we can look forward to seeing Day combining with Josh Ward, Jai Newcombe and Connor MacDonald in the nucleus of the Hawthorn midfield for years to come.

Look Hawks fans, let’s not panic off one result. Sure, there were moments and times not to love but it’s not doom and gloom, not even close. 

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Get updates and learn from the best

More To Explore

Jack Ginnivan celebrates a goal with Josh Weddle - Photo Steve Bell via Getty Images
Talking Hawks

Talking Hawks MVP: Round 13

The Hawks hosted the Giants at UTas in Launceston with an unchanged line up in front of 11,568 fans and showed what they’re made of.  

Jack Gunston celebrates one of three goals with some pumped up teammates - Photo Morgan Hancock via Getty Images
Talking Hawks

Talking Hawks MVP: Round 12

On a sunny afternoon at the MCG in front of 36,086 people and a vocal Hawthorn supporter base, Hawthorn led from start to finish to