We are back for another week with the classic game review and a big shoutout to all the Hawks fans out there that have read this series so far this year!
Whether this is your first read of the series or you haven’t missed an article yet, your support is greatly appreciated.
This week we are focusing on the Fremantle Dockers and when looking back through the archives, our history isn’t littered with nail biters.
So when trying to choose a game, I was looking for a memorable moment or a memorable team and it is fair to say this team was memorable.
It is the 2014 edition of the boys in brown and gold with the grand final rematch from the previous season the perfect opportunity to send the strongest of messages to the competition.
After beating Fremantle in the 2013 grand final, some experts were flagging the round 3 rematch in 2014 as a chance for the Dockers to help close the wound that was the year before.
By quarter time, this theory was completely out the window with Hawthorn putting together one of the most dominant first quarter displays you will see.
Cyril Rioli set the tone early, roving a pack inside 50, stepping around Michael Johnson and making the poor bloke look silly (in fairness, he wasn’t the first Cyril made look silly) and snapped a goal 90 seconds into the game.
It was an absolute onslaught from there with the Hawks slamming on an additional five goals and a behind before the Dockers could even trouble the scorers.
An end to end classic starting with colt hero Matt Spangher intercepting a kick inside 50, Paul Puopulo slapping it into the path of Cyril and Cyril finding Luke Breust who ran into an open goal, was the personification of the offensive firepower this group possessed.
Hawthorn went into the first break with a 30 point lead, flexing their muscles on the visitors and re-opening the scars that were created in September 2013.
We all know that the Hawks of this era were labeled the “unsociable Hawks” and after the brutality that was the first quarter, the second quarter lived up to the brand.
Another six goals from the Hawks with young gun Will Langford kicking the first of his career, following in the footsteps of his legendary father and dominating the MCG.
Isaac Smith kicked two within the first three minutes of the third quarter, while Luke Breust and Paul Puopulo both got their second of the game, proving to be a handful for the Dockers smalls and Big Rough was involved.
Not only was the forward line firing, the back half were doing their jobs, keeping Fremantle to only two first half goals with Grant Birchall, Matt Suckling and Josh GIbson racking up the disposals.
If there was a white towel to be thrown at half time it would have been, Hawthorn leading the grand final replay by a massive 57 points.
To rub salt into the wounds for Freo coming out after half time, it was the man of the moment and my favourite player to watch of all time, Cyril.
As Luke Breust launched a ball inside 50, time seemed to slow down to slow motion as you saw the magician wearing 33 floating towards the flight of the ball.
He leaped in from the side, sticking his knee directly into the back of a defender, took the mark, landed on his feet, played on, stepped around a defender and slammed through another one.
There was no letting the foot off the accelerator for Hawthorn in the third quarter, kicking another five goals to bring their three quarter time tally to 17.
Norm Smith Medal runner up Jack Gunston continued his love for kicking goals against Fremantle with two in the third quarter, Luke Breust kicked another and Liam Shiels became the tenth individual goal kicker for the match in the dying seconds.
At the final change, it was the Hawks leading by 69 points and this game reflected more as a top against bottom clash compared to a grand final replay.
Hawthorn took their foot off the gas in the last quarter, letting the Dockers get six goals past their stingy defence, but Brad Hill’s one hand pick up and dribble goal was a true symbol of the distinct difference in class between the sides.
The final score read:
It was a truly dominant team performance by the Hawks in this one, with every player (except for sub Angus Litherland) registering 10 or more disposals throughout the night.
Some of the standouts were Jordan Lewis with 37, Sam Mitchell with 36 and Brad Hill had a career high 30 including that late quarter goal.
Our forward line was as dangerous as ever with Luke Breust, Paul Puopulo and Isaac Smith all kicking three majors, Roughead, Gunston and Rioli with two and six others kicking one.
Season 2014 proved to be an extremely challenging one for the Hawks, with injuries to star players and even the coach ensuring the season statistics didn’t truly reflect the dominance of this team.
However the two greatest examples of this are arguably the Grand Final rematch we just spoke about and the 2014 Grand Final where this list confirmed their legacy.