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Ruthless Hawks give St Kilda a football education

Singing in the rain ... Hawk Luke Breust kicks whilst Sean Dempster attempts to smother.

Singing in the rain ... Hawk Luke Breust kicks whilst Sean Dempster attempts to smother. Photo: Getty Images

HAWTHORN 6.2  11.7  21.9  27.13 (175)
ST KILDA
2.3  2.3  3.4  4.6 (30)
Goals: Hawthorn:
J Gunston 4 J Roughead 4 L Breust 4 R Schoenmakers 4 C Rioli 2 D Hale 2 P Puopolo 2 S Burgoyne 2 B Hartung B Hill J Lewis. St Kilda: J Billings J Steven L Montagna R Stanley.
Best: Hawthorn:
S Burgoyne J Roughead J Gibson G Birchall L Hodge L Breust B Hill P Puopolo. St Kilda: J Billings L Montagna L Hayes.
Umpires:
Jacob Mollison, Dean Margetts, Robert O'Gorman.
Official Crowd: 32,924 at MCG.

What's the difference between Hawthorn and St Kilda? We could say that one team stayed in Tasmania and the other left; that one has far better stadium arrangements, and that, consequently, one has cash and assets and the other doesn't.

As of Saturday, the difference between the clubs that once shared Waverley Park also stands at 145 points.

SECURITY: 960828: MELBOURNE: PIC BY RAY KENNEDY: AGE GENERAL:
 RICHMOND VRS FITZROY . Click for more photos

AFL Massacres

A look at some of the heaviest AFL thrashings in recent times 

Time
Q4 29:48
Team
HFC
Score
27.13.175
Team
SKFC
Score
4.6.30
Hawthorn versus St Kilda
View Match Statistics
Players Gunston (4.2), Roughead (4.2), Schoenmakers (4.1), Breust (4.0), Rioli (2.1), Burgoyne (2.0), Hale (2.0), Puopolo (2.0), Hartung (1.1), Hill (1.1), Lewis (1.0), Birchall (0.2), Hodge (0.1), Suckling (0.1) Scorers Billings (1.1), Montagna (1.0), Stanley (1.0), Steven (1.0), Hayes (0.1)

As you'd hope, that margin is the largest in the history of these clubs, which is quite remarkable given that a.) teams – Hawthorn and Geelong excepted – don't score as much these days and; b.) Hawthorn was supreme in the '80s and the Saints won four consecutive wooden spoons from 1983-1986. It was a result that might feature in equalisation discussions.

There haven't been many scores greater than 145 points this season, much less a margin of that magnitude. Defensive tactics, such as the sandbagging deployed by Paul Roos, make such a margin improbable in 2014.

Yet the mother of all blow-outs happened at the MCG, and it happened in a match in which rain fell for roughly half the two hours. It is extraordinary to consider that this same Hawthorn team was almost beaten by an Essendon side (round two) that the Saints overran a fortnight ago.

Jack Gunston marks in front of Tom Simpkin.

Jack Gunston marks in front of Tom Simpkin. Photo: Getty Images

But if we have gleaned anything from this season and the previous two years, it's that the Hawks have an unmatched ability to butcher the opposition and run up cricket scores. They are a pitiless gang, who don't permit the kind of face-saving that Collingwood afforded Carlton in the final quarter on Friday night. Once the kicking begins, they keep going.

Of the many records busted, and of all the frightening numbers, this was probably the most revealing: at the 25-minute mark of the second quarter, the Saints had their first forward (50-metre) entry for the quarter. By match's end, they had just 25 forward entries to Hawthorn's 68. Some teams squander this territorial advantage – not the Hawks, whose Jarryd Roughead, Luke Breust, Jack Gunston and, surprisingly, Ryan Schoenmakers each booted four goals.

Having Brian Lake back in the side, and with Josh Gibson manning Nick Riewoldt for most of the game, the Hawks didn't need Shoenmakers in defence. So, in his return to the seniors after a 12-month absence, the ''Show'' was given an attractive new job description of goal-kicker, which came in tandem with the unveiling of his hipster Samurai hairstyle. Perhaps the Hawks figured he wouldn't get sufficient work in defence.

Another frightening fact: Sam Mitchell was subbed out with a hamstring injury at quarter time. The Hawks didn't need their most productive midfielder to have complete territorial control and ownership of the ball. Lake also went off with a calf injury in the third term.

Skipper Luke Hodge stepped up in Mitchell's absence, while Shaun Burgoyne was among the most prolific ball winners. Gibson was rampant, especially in the first quarter, and there wasn't much Riewoldt could do about it because he was outnumbered whenever the ball went near him – and to get near it, he had to get up the field, where goals aren't scored.

You would think a team smashed by 24 goals would have been slaughtered at the contest. Umm, not exactly. Hawthorn ''won'' the contested ball by 146 to 135, not much of a gap.

You would imagine then that the dismembered team didn't lay a tackle. Well, no, St Kilda out-tackled the Hawks by 73 to 57.

So, we come back to the opening question: what was the difference?

Skill level is the starting point. Ability to spread would be next, followed by defensive positioning. Hawthorn, as we know, can keep possession of the ball like no other team. That it rained in the second quarter only accentuated the difference in class. The uncontested ball differential was 149, of which most were short, staccato kicks to a brown and gold jumper.

Hawthorn kept possession. The Saints couldn't move the ball from out of defence, couldn't get it past the midfield often, and on those occasions when it was in their scoring area, were outnumbered by Gibson and his cohorts.

Grant Birchall and Matt Suckling played higher than usual – that is, where the ball was. Birchall, indeed, kicked the ball inside 50 metres six times; Suckling seven.

Alan Richardson reckoned the Saints failed to apply pressure and didn't cope with it, which was correct on both counts, despite the tackles. The greater failing was in combating Hawthorn's skill and retaining possession.

If the second quarter was ugly for the Saints, worse was to come after half-time. The Hawks piled on 10.2 to 1.1 in the third term, when they scored with ludicrous ease, highlighted by consecutive Cyril Rioli give-and-get goals on the run, and the unselfish waxing between Breust and Roughead, one donating a goal to the other within a couple of minutes.

Leigh Montagna resisted by winning the ball, as did Lenny Hayes, to a degree. Jack Steven tried, too. But these individual acts of resistance weren't sufficient to halt the ruthless march of the pitiless terminators.

35 comments so far

  • the Saints need to start games the moment the ball is bounced. That is two consecutive weeks that they have started slowly and then ended up being beaten by the clock

    Commenter
    Bomber
    Date and time
    May 03, 2014, 4:55PM
    • Pretty sure they were beaten by 135 points - not by the clock. They didn't start slow, they never started at all.

      Commenter
      Admiral Percy Fitzwallace
      Date and time
      May 03, 2014, 5:07PM
    • actually Admiral it was 145 points !

      Commenter
      C
      Date and time
      May 03, 2014, 11:43PM
    • The only way the clock would have helped the saints is if it went for 24 hours and hawthorn got bored and went home....

      Commenter
      Dd
      Date and time
      May 04, 2014, 10:31AM
  • St. Kilda are a joke and have been for forty years. Get out of the league or move to Tasmania. I am sick of hearing about their inspirational captain. P*ss weak.....6 kicks and 4 handballs. C'mon Bruce tell us about this special performance......Disgrace to the game and the entire team should consider a media ban for a month or two. I am sick of seeing these jokes on television commenting on a game they obviously can't play.

    Commenter
    Pat
    Location
    Melbourne
    Date and time
    May 03, 2014, 5:04PM
    • Pat St Kilda, Melbourne, North Melbourne and the Western Bulldogs should all go however the TV rights are worth more if there are more teams so the AFL will keep them even though they will never be any good and a constant drain on AFL finances. Ideally there would only be Carlton, Collingwood, Essendon, Hawthorn and Geelong along with the interstate clubs. The AFL is committed to Gold Coast and Greater Western being successful so it's only going to get worse for Melbourne, St Kilda, North Melbourne and Bulldogs.

      Commenter
      Bomber
      Date and time
      May 03, 2014, 5:19PM
    • @Pat, I'm not even a Saints supporter but Riewoldt is a superstar - and yes, even superstars have bad days. If you can't see that, you have no knowledge or understanding of the game. I've watched footy for 50 years and I still say Riewoldt took the best mark I have ever seen, at the SCG a few years ago. He ran back with the flight of the ball into traffic, launched himself, had his legs taken out from under him, grabbed the mark and came to earth a good ten metres from where he left it. He's a freak and I'd have him in my team any day.

      Commenter
      marcus
      Location
      west coast
      Date and time
      May 03, 2014, 5:31PM
    • Wrong, Bomber. I am sick of the A.F.L. and their fake crowd numbers. Time to build stadia in Ballarat and Bendigo and send some of these uncompetitive to a CITY where they can at least draw a crowd and a membership base.

      Commenter
      Pat
      Location
      Melbourne
      Date and time
      May 03, 2014, 5:35PM
    • Totally agree bomber - the clubs you mentioned should join the VFL. They would then have all the things they used to reject relocation -connection to community, a local game every week etc. then Melbourne would have a meaningful local comp like the WAFL and SANFL that every one could support in addition to their AFL club. win win all around

      Commenter
      win win
      Date and time
      May 03, 2014, 6:00PM
    • What are you talking about Pat, fake crowd numbers. I was there with my son and as usual we played guess the crowd, we've been doing this for years and we've got pretty good at it. I guessed 32,412 and my son guessed 32,700. Official was crowd was 32,924. So with our years of doing this we got pretty close to what the AFL said. And it looked about right, the stadium was about one third full.
      Fake crowd numbers Pat that's just plain wrong.

      Also a few years ago Hawthorn beat Port Adelaide by 197 to 32. Look at Port now. All things come around, Saints had ten years of bring a top line team, they will bounce back.

      Commenter
      Suburban Boy
      Location
      Way out there
      Date and time
      May 03, 2014, 6:44PM

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AFL 2015

Round 1
Thu, 02 AprTimes shown AEDT
CAR 78 vs RIC 105 19:20MCG
Sat, 04 AprTimes shown AEDT
MEL 115 vs GCF 89 13:40MCG
SYD 72 vs ESS 60 16:35ANZ
BRI 74 vs COL 86 19:20G
WBU 97 vs WCE 87 19:20ES
Sun, 05 AprTimes shown AEST
STK 78 vs GWS 87 13:10ES
ADE 140 vs NTH 63 15:20Adelaide Oval
FRE 75 vs PTA 68 18:40Domain Stadium
Mon, 06 AprTimes shown AEST
HAW 123 vs GEE 61 15:20MCG
View All Fixtures
Round 2
Fri, 10 AprTimes shown AEST
WCE 131 vs CAR 62 20:10Domain Stadium
Sat, 11 AprTimes shown AEST
RIC 66 vs WBU 85 13:45MCG
GWS 101 vs MEL 56 14:10SO
COL 63 vs ADE 90 16:35ES
GCF 76 vs STK 104 19:20MS
PTA 44 vs SYD 92 19:40Adelaide Oval
Sun, 12 AprTimes shown AEST
GEE 60 vs FRE 104 13:10SS
ESS 78 vs HAW 76 15:20MCG
NTH 133 vs BRI 51 16:40ES
View All Fixtures
Round 3
Fri, 17 AprTimes shown AEST
COL 140 vs STK 66 19:50MCG
Sat, 18 AprTimes shown AEST
CAR 84 vs ESS 105 13:45MCG
ADE 80 vs MEL 55 14:10Adelaide Oval
SYD 111 vs GWS 90 16:35SCG
NTH 105 vs PTA 113 19:20ES
BRI 58 vs RIC 137 19:20G
Sun, 19 AprTimes shown AEST
HAW 127 vs WBU 57 13:10AS
GEE 105 vs GCF 96 15:20SS
WCE 81 vs FRE 111 16:40Domain Stadium
View All Fixtures
Round 4
Fri, 24 AprTimes shown AEST
RIC 51 vs MEL 83 19:50MCG
Sat, 25 AprTimes shown AEST
STK 81 vs CAR 121 11:10NZ
ESS 49 vs COL 69 14:40MCG
GWS 119 vs GCF 53 17:40SO
PTA 99 vs HAW 91 19:40Adelaide Oval
FRE 74 vs SYD 60 20:45Domain Stadium
Sun, 26 AprTimes shown AEST
BRI 65 vs WCE 118 13:10G
GEE 67 vs NTH 83 15:20SS
WBU 125 vs ADE 68 16:40ES
View All Fixtures
Round 5
Fri, 01 MayTimes shown AEST
CAR vs COL 19:50MCG
Sat, 02 MayTimes shown AEST
RIC vs GEE 13:45MCG
SYD vs WBU 14:10SCG
GCF vs BRI 16:35MS
NTH vs HAW 19:20ES
WCE vs GWS 19:40Domain Stadium
Sun, 03 MayTimes shown AEST
MEL vs FRE 13:10MCG
STK vs ESS 15:20ES
ADE vs PTA 16:40Adelaide Oval
View All Fixtures
Round 6
Fri, 08 MayTimes shown AEST
COL vs GEE 19:50MCG
Sat, 09 MayTimes shown AEST
NTH vs RIC 13:45BA
WBU vs STK 14:10ES
GWS vs HAW 16:35Spotless Stadium
GCF vs ADE 17:10MS
MEL vs SYD 19:20MCG
FRE vs ESS 20:10Domain Stadium
Sun, 10 MayTimes shown AEST
CAR vs BRI 15:20ES
PTA vs WCE 16:40Adelaide Oval
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Round 7
Fri, 15 MayTimes shown AEST
ESS vs NTH 19:50ES
Sat, 16 MayTimes shown AEST
ADE vs STK 13:45Adelaide Oval
HAW vs MEL 14:10MCG
CAR vs GWS 16:35ES
SYD vs GEE 19:20ANZ
WCE vs GCF 19:40Domain Stadium
Sun, 17 MayTimes shown AEST
WBU vs FRE 13:10ES
RIC vs COL 15:20MCG
BRI vs PTA 16:40G
View All Fixtures
Round 8
Fri, 22 MayTimes shown AEST
GEE vs CAR 19:50ES
Sat, 23 MayTimes shown AEST
STK vs WCE 13:45ES
GWS vs ADE 14:10Spotless Stadium
GCF vs COL 16:35MS
HAW vs SYD 19:20MCG
FRE vs NTH 19:40Domain Stadium
Sun, 24 MayTimes shown AEST
ESS vs BRI 13:10ES
MEL vs WBU 15:20MCG
PTA vs RIC 16:40Adelaide Oval
View All Fixtures
Round 9
Fri, 29 MayTimes shown AEST
SYD vs CAR 19:50SCG
Sat, 30 MayTimes shown AEST
HAW vs GCF 13:45AS
MEL vs PTA 14:10TIO Traeger Park
WBU vs GWS 16:35ES
RIC vs ESS 19:20MCG
ADE vs FRE 19:40Adelaide Oval
Sun, 31 MayTimes shown AEST
BRI vs STK 13:10G
COL vs NTH 15:20MCG
WCE vs GEE 16:40Domain Stadium
View All Fixtures
Round 10
Fri, 05 JunTimes shown AEST
FRE vs RIC 20:10Domain Stadium
Sat, 06 JunTimes shown AEST
CAR vs ADE 13:40MCG
GCF vs SYD 16:35MS
ESS vs GEE 19:20ES
PTA vs WBU 19:40Adelaide Oval
Sun, 07 JunTimes shown AEST
GWS vs BRI 13:10Spotless Stadium
NTH vs WCE 15:20BA
STK vs HAW 16:40ES
Mon, 08 JunTimes shown AEST
MEL vs COL 15:20MCG
View All Fixtures
Round 11
Fri, 12 JunTimes shown AEST
PTA vs GEE 19:50Adelaide Oval
Sat, 13 JunTimes shown AEST
GCF vs FRE 13:40MS
WCE vs ESS 16:35Domain Stadium
NTH vs SYD 19:20ES
Sun, 14 JunTimes shown AEST
COL vs GWS 13:10MCG
STK vs MEL 16:40ES
View All Fixtures
Round 12
Thu, 18 JunTimes shown AEST
ADE vs HAW 19:50Adelaide Oval
Fri, 19 JunTimes shown AEST
RIC vs WCE 19:50MCG
Sat, 20 JunTimes shown AEST
CAR vs PTA 13:40MCG
GWS vs NTH 16:35Spotless Stadium
WBU vs BRI 19:20ES
Sun, 21 JunTimes shown AEST
GEE vs MEL 15:20SS
View All Fixtures
Round 13
Thu, 25 JunTimes shown AEST
FRE vs COL 20:10Domain Stadium
Fri, 26 JunTimes shown AEST
SYD vs RIC 19:50SCG
Sat, 27 JunTimes shown AEST
HAW vs ESS 13:40MCG
BRI vs ADE 16:35G
STK vs WBU 19:20ES
Sun, 28 JunTimes shown AEST
CAR vs GCF 15:20ES
View All Fixtures
Round 14
Thu, 02 JulTimes shown AEST
SYD vs PTA 19:20SCG
Fri, 03 JulTimes shown AEST
COL vs HAW 19:50MCG
Sat, 04 JulTimes shown AEST
RIC vs GWS 13:40MCG
GCF vs NTH 16:35MS
WBU vs CAR 19:20ES
MEL vs WCE 19:40TIO
Sun, 05 JulTimes shown AEST
ESS vs STK 13:10ES
ADE vs GEE 15:20Adelaide Oval
FRE vs BRI 16:40Domain Stadium
View All Fixtures
Round 15
Thu, 09 JulTimes shown AEST
PTA vs COL 19:50Adelaide Oval
Fri, 10 JulTimes shown AEST
RIC vs CAR 19:50MCG
Sat, 11 JulTimes shown AEST
ESS vs MEL 13:40MCG
WBU vs GCF 16:35CAZ
NTH vs GEE 19:20ES
WCE vs ADE 19:40Domain Stadium
Sun, 12 JulTimes shown AEST
GWS vs STK 13:10Spotless Stadium
HAW vs FRE 15:20AS
BRI vs SYD 16:40G
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Round 16
Fri, 17 JulTimes shown AEST
NTH vs ESS 19:50ES
Sat, 18 JulTimes shown AEST
GEE vs WBU 13:45SS
GCF vs GWS 14:10MS
COL vs WCE 16:35ES
SYD vs HAW 19:20ANZ
FRE vs CAR 19:40Domain Stadium
Sun, 19 JulTimes shown AEST
MEL vs BRI 13:10MCG
PTA vs ADE 15:20Adelaide Oval
STK vs RIC 16:40ES
View All Fixtures
Round 17
Fri, 24 JulTimes shown AEST
CAR vs HAW 19:50ES
Sat, 25 JulTimes shown AEST
GWS vs GEE 13:45SO
ADE vs GCF 14:10Adelaide Oval
RIC vs FRE 16:35MCG
ESS vs PTA 19:20ES
BRI vs NTH 19:20G
Sun, 26 JulTimes shown AEST
WBU vs COL 13:10ES
MEL vs STK 15:20MCG
WCE vs SYD 16:40Domain Stadium
View All Fixtures
Round 18
Fri, 31 JulTimes shown AEST
HAW vs RIC 19:50MCG
Sat, 01 AugTimes shown AEST
GEE vs BRI 13:45SS
COL vs MEL 14:10MCG
SYD vs ADE 16:35SCG
CAR vs NTH 19:20ES
GCF vs WCE 19:20MS
Sun, 02 AugTimes shown AEST
PTA vs STK 13:10Adelaide Oval
ESS vs WBU 15:20ES
FRE vs GWS 16:40Domain Stadium
View All Fixtures
Round 19
Fri, 07 AugTimes shown AEST
ADE vs RIC 19:50Adelaide Oval
Sat, 08 AugTimes shown AEST
COL vs CAR 13:45MCG
WBU vs PTA 14:10ES
BRI vs GCF 16:35G
GEE vs SYD 19:20SS
WCE vs HAW 19:40Domain Stadium
Sun, 09 AugTimes shown AEST
MEL vs NTH 13:10MCG
GWS vs ESS 15:20Spotless Stadium
STK vs FRE 16:40ES
View All Fixtures
Round 20
Fri, 14 AugTimes shown AEST
SYD vs COL 19:50SCG
Sat, 15 AugTimes shown AEST
ESS vs ADE 13:45ES
NTH vs STK 14:10BA
PTA vs GWS 16:35Adelaide Oval
GEE vs HAW 19:20MCG
BRI vs CAR 19:20G
Sun, 16 AugTimes shown AEST
RIC vs GCF 13:10MCG
WBU vs MEL 15:20ES
FRE vs WCE 16:40Domain Stadium
View All Fixtures
Round 21
Fri, 21 AugTimes shown AEST
HAW vs PTA 19:50ES
Sat, 22 AugTimes shown AEST
COL vs RIC 13:45MCG
GWS vs SYD 14:10Spotless Stadium
GCF vs ESS 16:35MS
STK vs GEE 19:20ES
ADE vs BRI 19:40Adelaide Oval
Sun, 23 AugTimes shown AEST
NTH vs FRE 13:10ES
CAR vs MEL 15:20MCG
WCE vs WBU 16:40Domain Stadium
View All Fixtures
Round 22
Fri, 28 AugTimes shown AEST
GEE vs COL 19:50MCG
Sat, 29 AugTimes shown AEST
GWS vs CAR 13:45Spotless Stadium
HAW vs BRI 14:10AS
NTH vs WBU 16:35ES
ESS vs RIC 19:20MCG
GCF vs PTA 19:20MS
Sun, 30 AugTimes shown AEST
ADE vs WCE 13:10Adelaide Oval
STK vs SYD 15:20ES
FRE vs MEL 16:40Domain Stadium
View All Fixtures
Round 23
Fri, 04 SepTimes shown AEST
COL vs ESS 00:00MCG
RIC vs NTH 00:00ES
HAW vs CAR 00:00MCG
GEE vs ADE 00:00SS
SYD vs GCF 00:00SCG
MEL vs GWS 00:00ES
BRI vs WBU 00:00G
PTA vs FRE 00:30Adelaide Oval
WCE vs STK 02:00Domain Stadium
View All Fixtures
AFL 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D % Pts
Fremantle 4 4 0 0 135.32 16
GWS Giants 4 3 1 0 133.22 12
Collingwood 4 3 1 0 128.32 12
Sydney Swans 4 3 1 0 125.00 12
Adelaide Crows 4 3 1 0 123.53 12
Western Bulldogs 4 3 1 0 104.60 12
Hawthorn 4 2 2 0 141.36 8
West Coast Eagles 4 2 2 0 124.48 8
View all
 
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