JavaScript disabled. Please enable JavaScript to use My News, My Clippings, My Comments and user settings.

If you have trouble accessing our login form below, you can go to our login page.

If you have trouble accessing our login form below, you can go to our login page.

Hawks' flag built on grand designs

Date

Weaning itself off Buddy the key to Hawthorn's grand final success.

Video settings

Please Log in to update your video settings

Video will begin in 5 seconds.

Video settings

Please Log in to update your video settings

Hawks sink determined Dockers

Hawthorn too strong for Fremantle, winning the 2013 AFL grand final by 15 points despite a spirited late fightback from the Dockers.

PT0M0S 620 349

When Lance Franklin finally tells Hawthorn his plans for next year, the shock will only come if he informs the club that he's staying. The Hawks think he has gone to the land of the Giants and have thought so for quite a while.

But the player they'll be losing isn't quite the same one from 12 months ago, when Buddy booted a wasteful 3.4 and would have brought home the premiership bacon – and the Norm Smith Medal – had he kicked as accurately as Jack Gunston did on Saturday.

The Hawks weaned themselves off Franklin this year to the point that he became, not a superstar forward and fulcrum of the attack but a solid citizen and role player. 

The forward they're expected to relinquish for the greater good of expansion – and more than a few dollars more – isn't the Franklin of 2012, much less the spry 2008 version who booted the last century of goals by an AFL player.

Hawthorn coach Alistair Clarkson and captain Luke Hodge with the premiership cup at Glenferrie oval.

Hawthorn coach Alistair Clarkson and captain Luke Hodge with the premiership cup at Glenferrie oval. Photo: Wayne Taylor

Consider the words long used to describe Buddy: flamboyant, brilliant, erratic, hedonistic, individualistic, swaggering, unconventional – and compare them with those that reflect Franklin's finals series and grand final: blue collar, team-oriented, role-playing, steady, courageous (he took a huge hit for the team in the third quarter when backing into Chris Mayne).

People fundamentally don't change their core selves, and Franklin hasn't lost his ability, self-belief or tendency to run his own creative race. What's changed is his role.

One of the critical differences between Hawthorn of 2012 and 2013, between silver and gold medals, was that the Hawks weaned themselves off Franklin this year to the point that he became, not a superstar forward and fulcrum of the attack but a solid citizen and role player.

Gunston booted 11 goals in Hawthorn's three finals. Buddy managed two in his pair of finals games. Gunston's goals, in a sense, came at Franklin's expense, because the Hawks revamped their forward structure to make it less susceptible to defences – like Geelong and Fremantle – that zone off and cover the high ball.

In the new attack, Gunston played deeper more frequently, with cameos higher up the ground. Jarryd Roughead, who won the Coleman Medal, was clearly the major tall target, though even Roughie would head upfield and get involved in centre bounces.

Ruckman David Hale spent his share of time stationed deep in the forward 50-metre arc. Cyril Rioli and Luke Breust were the silky smalls, with Paul Puopolo providing groundball grunt.

In this ''all for one'' forward line, Franklin, by necessity, wasn't the tall, deep target so often, and really became a tall half-forward flanker. He wasn't required to kick multiple goals. If he won possessions, got up the field and presented – dragging a formidable opponent such as Luke McPharlin or Tom Lonergan with him – while contesting and tackling hard, then he would have done his job.

Clearly, Buddy wasn't strutting on Broadway in this revamped attack, which took shape in the second half of 2013. Coach Alastair Clarkson and his assistant Adam Simpson did a marvellous job of getting Buddy to accept a role that wasn't so glamorous. But Clarkson didn't single out Franklin for a reduced role, either. He was just the most obvious example of a flag built on the collective. The premiership was predicated on the words of the club song: ''All for one and one for all/is the way we play at Hawthorn.''

In 2008, the superstars were essential. Buddy booted a ton, Luke Hodge won the Norm Smith and propped up the defence. Roughead booted 75 goals and Sam Mitchell was the stoppage maestro. While only Hodge starred in the grand final, the superstars' share of the team's total output was far higher than in 2013.

Clarkson, quite intentionally, has reconstructed the Hawks into a team of interchangeable, flexible and yes, dispensable players.

''He's created an environment where everyone plays a role rather than having … the dominance of one central figure,'' Hawthorn chief executive Stuart Fox said of Clarkson, who will be the subject of talks about a contract extension beyond next year. ''That's been his greatest strength. This year, the injection of some new talent and players has been really beneficial for our list.''

Hodge is important for leadership and providing on-field navigation, but he can be covered by the collective of left-footed smart guys and toughies.

Mitchell, so essential to conquering Geelong, was smothered by Ryan Crowley on Saturday, yet the Hawks found a way to win the stoppages. Roughead, certainly, is important, but he kicked only two goals in the grand final, none in the preliminary final and two in the qualifying final.

Brian Lake, as it happened, was probably the one they needed most on the day.

So, while Buddy will be missed if, as everyone assumes, he leaves, it's less of a loss than it might have been 12 months ago. Fox said the club was prepared for either scenario. He called the decision ''imminent''.

The Hawks' management of Franklin has been critical to winning the flag on two fronts. First, they didn't allow the distractions to upset their mission – as many thought it might. ''Everyone in the media world said this is going be a huge distraction, but hey, now the proof's in the pudding – we've got a premiership and we haven't let it distract us at all,'' said Fox.

No less significant was the way the Hawks reduced their reliance on Buddy, made him a cog and put more eggs in other baskets. Whatever they might lose in Franklin, they got the essential flag.

41 comments

  • Buddy played his role well enough in the finals. But is he really worth $12m? He's no Ablett. Hawks have shown their ability to adapt under Clarkson and with such good depth, expect them to be around the top for a while yet.

    Commenter
    LeroyB
    Date and time
    September 30, 2013, 8:26AM
    • Worst GF I've seen in years, a really sloppy game of footy. Though the umpiring in the first half was even sloppier....

      Commenter
      Not my teams but...
      Location
      Melbourne
      Date and time
      September 30, 2013, 8:39AM
    • @not my teams but.... agree it was a sloppy game, but people watching on TV don't appreciate how difficult the strong wind was.
      @LeroyB, agree, the Hawks have plenty of great players, Gunston is a much straighter kick for goal than Buddy, Roughhead is a better overhead mark, Rioli and Breust better at ground level etc.
      but the other issue is GWS, a big mistake for the AFL to put a team there. Not enough support in Sydney for 2 teams and the only way GWS will get any good is to poach other teams great players and/or enormous draft pick & salary cap advantages : all of which suck bigtime !

      Commenter
      C
      Date and time
      September 30, 2013, 9:01AM
    • Buddy's role was basically reduced to playing as a larger version of Cyril this year. Except Cyril is probably stronger overhead and stronger on his feet. Did we see the 102kg Hulk of Franklin hit the deck when 'massive' Ballantyne bumped him? Hawks better off when he moves on as a foil for Jeremy Cameron next year.

      Commenter
      Warren
      Location
      Burrows
      Date and time
      September 30, 2013, 10:32AM
    • It might not have been the greatest spectacle in terms of scoring etc., but it was a very hard fought contest. Freo made a scrap out of it, and the Hawks showed they could beat them at their own game. Very impressed with how the Hawks went about it on the weekend.

      Commenter
      JD
      Date and time
      September 30, 2013, 11:20AM
    • The Hawks can thank Andrew Demetriou and the tribunal for their win this year, if Chapman didn't get rubbed out for nothing before the preliminary final Geelong beats Hawthorn and would have beaten Freo on the G as well.

      Commenter
      Bushy of Cressy
      Location
      Cressy
      Date and time
      September 30, 2013, 1:02PM
    • C - "the only way GWS will get any good is to poach other teams great players "

      Which would be the way Hawthorn did it - Lake, Gunston, Hale, Guerra, Gibson, Burgoyne, Simpkin

      What are you sooking about?

      Commenter
      Red Juliar
      Date and time
      September 30, 2013, 1:24PM
    • Bushy of Cressy. Nothing funnier than a bitter Floglong supporter. Ha Ha!

      Commenter
      Hawk Torque
      Date and time
      September 30, 2013, 1:43PM
    • @Hawk Torque, Just stating the bloody obvious everyone knows if Chapman had played Geelong would have won.

      Commenter
      Bushy of Cressy
      Location
      Cressy
      Date and time
      September 30, 2013, 2:21PM
    • @Bushy of Cressy. the bloody obvious is that you LOST to Freo at home! Dont worry next year Chappie will be playing for the Crows. In the BIG GAMES when it counts the Cats go missing. Selwood dressed up as Princess Kate last Monday - but forgot his handbag!

      Commenter
      Hawk Torque
      Date and time
      September 30, 2013, 3:09PM

More comments

Comments are now closed

Related Coverage

2014 Home and Away

Round 1
Fri, 14 MarTimes shown AEDT
COL 46 vs FRE 116 Report Stats
Sat, 15 MarTimes shown AEDT
GWS 99 vs SYD 67 Report Report Stats
GCF 87 vs RIC 69 Report Stats
Sun, 16 MarTimes shown AEDT
CAR 87 vs PTA 120 Report Stats
Thu, 20 MarTimes shown AEDT
GEE 119 vs ADE 81 Report Stats
Fri, 21 MarTimes shown AEDT
NTH 60 vs ESS 99 Report Stats
Sat, 22 MarTimes shown AEDT
HAW 139 vs BRI 91 Report Stats
STK 68 vs MEL 51 Report Stats
Sun, 23 MarTimes shown AEDT
WCE 134 vs WBU 69 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 2
Thu, 27 MarTimes shown AEDT
RIC 98 vs CAR 86 Report Stats
Fri, 28 MarTimes shown AEDT
ESS 86 vs HAW 90 Report Stats
Sat, 29 MarTimes shown AEDT
STK 95 vs GWS 88 Stats
PTA 127 vs ADE 73 Report Stats
FRE 87 vs GCF 39 Report Stats
SYD 69 vs COL 89 Report Stats
Sun, 30 MarTimes shown AEDT
BRI 68 vs GEE 93 Stats
MEL 30 vs WCE 123 Report Stats
WBU 54 vs NTH 83 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 3
Fri, 04 AprTimes shown AEDT
HAW 137 vs FRE 79 Report Stats
Sat, 05 AprTimes shown AEDT
WBU 100 vs RIC 98 Report Stats
ADE 71 vs SYD 134 Report Stats
GCF 114 vs BRI 61 Stats
WCE 83 vs STK 58 Report Stats
COL 76 vs GEE 87 Report Stats
Sun, 06 AprTimes shown AEST
GWS 79 vs MEL 47 Report Stats
NTH 97 vs PTA 90 Report Stats
ESS 138 vs CAR 57 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 4
Fri, 11 AprTimes shown AEST
RIC 72 vs COL 110 Report Stats
Sat, 12 AprTimes shown AEST
CAR 58 vs MEL 81 Report Stats
PTA 159 vs BRI 46 Report Stats
GWS 83 vs WBU 110 Report Stats
GEE 107 vs WCE 32 Report Stats
GCF 49 vs HAW 148 Report Stats
Sun, 13 AprTimes shown AEST
SYD 48 vs NTH 91 Report Stats
STK 50 vs ADE 136 Report Stats
FRE 113 vs ESS 60 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 5
Thu, 17 AprTimes shown AEST
BRI 63 vs RIC 106 Report Stats
Sat, 19 AprTimes shown AEST
COL 93 vs NTH 58 Report Stats
SYD 92 vs FRE 75 Report Stats
WCE 56 vs PTA 70 Report Stats
ESS 65 vs STK 81 Report Stats
Sun, 20 AprTimes shown AEST
ADE 137 vs GWS 72 Report Stats
MEL 78 vs GCF 86 Report Stats
WBU 91 vs CAR 119 Report Stats
Mon, 21 AprTimes shown AEST
GEE 106 vs HAW 87 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 6
Fri, 25 AprTimes shown AEST
COL 83 vs ESS 60 Report Stats
STK 79 vs BRI 82 Report Stats
FRE 61 vs NTH 74 Report Stats
Sat, 26 AprTimes shown AEST
GCF 134 vs GWS 94 Report Stats
CAR 92 vs WCE 89 Report Stats
MEL 38 vs SYD 69 Report Stats
Sun, 27 AprTimes shown AEST
WBU 83 vs ADE 92 Report Stats
RIC 52 vs HAW 118 Report Stats
PTA 107 vs GEE 67 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 7
Fri, 02 MayTimes shown AEST
CAR 70 vs COL 104 Report Stats
Sat, 03 MayTimes shown AEST
HAW 175 vs STK 30 Report Stats
GWS 97 vs PTA 132 Report Stats
ADE 67 vs MEL 70 Report Stats
BRI 44 vs SYD 123 Stats
ESS 73 vs WBU 65 Report Stats
Sun, 04 MayTimes shown AEST
NTH 77 vs GCF 120 Report Stats
GEE 81 vs RIC 76 Report Stats
WCE 54 vs FRE 73 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 8
Fri, 09 MayTimes shown AEST
SYD 107 vs HAW 88 Report Stats
Sat, 10 MayTimes shown AEST
PTA 94 vs FRE 76 Report Stats
BRI 57 vs ESS 65 Report Stats
MEL 83 vs WBU 99 Report Stats
Sun, 11 MayTimes shown AEST
WCE 188 vs GWS 77 Report Stats
Mon, 12 MayTimes shown AEST
STK 69 vs CAR 101 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 9
Thu, 15 MayTimes shown AEST
ADE 76 vs COL 55 Report Stats
Fri, 16 MayTimes shown AEST
ESS 64 vs SYD 114 Report Stats
Sat, 17 MayTimes shown AEST
RIC 74 vs MEL 91 Report Stats
NTH 125 vs BRI 38 Report Stats
FRE 96 vs GEE 64 Report Stats
Sun, 18 MayTimes shown AEST
STK 87 vs GCF 125 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 10
Fri, 23 MayTimes shown AEST
GEE 111 vs NTH 91 Report Stats
Sat, 24 MayTimes shown AEST
GWS 41 vs RIC 154 Report Stats
COL 109 vs WCE 101 Report Stats
PTA 100 vs HAW 86 Report Stats
Sun, 25 MayTimes shown AEST
GCF 119 vs WBU 74 Report Stats
CAR 81 vs ADE 76 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 11
Thu, 29 MayTimes shown AEST
SYD 148 vs GEE 38 Report Stats
Fri, 30 MayTimes shown AEST
STK 54 vs COL 140 Report Stats
Sat, 31 MayTimes shown AEST
MEL 75 vs PTA 95 Report Stats
BRI 98 vs CAR 91 Report Stats
ESS 104 vs RIC 54 Report Stats
Sun, 01 JunTimes shown AEST
ADE 109 vs GCF 77 Report Stats
WBU 51 vs FRE 89 Report Stats
HAW 94 vs GWS 87 Report Stats
WCE 44 vs NTH 82 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 12
Fri, 06 JunTimes shown AEST
GEE 107 vs CAR 102 Report Stats
Sat, 07 JunTimes shown AEST
HAW 123 vs WCE 79 Report Stats
PTA 129 vs STK 59 Report Stats
WBU 87 vs BRI 95 Report Stats
GWS 66 vs ESS 81 Report Stats
Sun, 08 JunTimes shown AEST
GCF 74 vs SYD 109 Report Stats
FRE 90 vs ADE 50 Report Stats
NTH 116 vs RIC 88 Report Stats
Mon, 09 JunTimes shown AEST
MEL 28 vs COL 61 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 13
Fri, 13 JunTimes shown AEST
CAR 90 vs HAW 118 Report Stats
Sat, 14 JunTimes shown AEST
RIC 85 vs FRE 105 Report Stats
SYD 98 vs PTA 94 Report Stats
WCE 103 vs GCF 100 Report Stats
BRI 80 vs GWS 125 Report Stats
ADE 109 vs NTH 73 Report Stats
Sun, 15 JunTimes shown AEST
GEE 133 vs STK 37 Report Stats
COL 98 vs WBU 106 Report Stats
ESS 77 vs MEL 78 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 14
Fri, 20 JunTimes shown AEST
RIC 51 vs SYD 62 Report Stats
Sat, 21 JunTimes shown AEST
PTA 128 vs WBU 56 Report Stats
HAW 115 vs COL 86 Report Stats
GCF 118 vs GEE 78 Report Stats
FRE 105 vs BRI 22 Report Stats
ESS 101 vs ADE 92 Report Stats
Sun, 22 JunTimes shown AEST
GWS 100 vs CAR 92 Report Stats
STK 70 vs WCE 103 Report Stats
MEL 66 vs NTH 107 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 15
Fri, 27 JunTimes shown AEST
GEE 89 vs ESS 80 Report Stats
Sat, 28 JunTimes shown AEST
HAW 116 vs GCF 63 Report Stats
STK 73 vs RIC 117 Report Stats
FRE 88 vs WCE 81 Report Stats
SYD 106 vs GWS 60 Stats
BRI 70 vs NTH 66 Report Stats
Sun, 29 JunTimes shown AEST
WBU 91 vs MEL 85 Report Stats
ADE 99 vs PTA 76 Report Stats
COL 91 vs CAR 76 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 16
Fri, 04 JulTimes shown AEST
NTH 108 vs HAW 88 Report Stats
Sat, 05 JulTimes shown AEST
RIC 79 vs BRI 54 Stats
GWS 72 vs ADE 140 Report Stats
GCF 80 vs COL 75 Report Stats
MEL 34 vs FRE 97 Report Stats
PTA 60 vs ESS 62 Report Stats
Sun, 06 JulTimes shown AEST
CAR 151 vs STK 66 Report Stats
WCE 51 vs SYD 79 Report Stats
GEE 69 vs WBU 56 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 17
Fri, 11 JulTimes shown AEST
ADE 92 vs HAW 104 Report Stats
Sat, 12 JulTimes shown AEST
MEL 36 vs GEE 102 Report Stats
NTH 92 vs STK 33 Report Stats
WBU 94 vs GCF 66 Report Stats
BRI 64 vs WCE 76 Report Stats
SYD 122 vs CAR 51 Report Stats
Sun, 13 JulTimes shown AEST
RIC 126 vs PTA 106 Report Stats
ESS 103 vs COL 39 Report Stats
FRE 136 vs GWS 60 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 18
Fri, 18 JulTimes shown AEST
CAR 109 vs NTH 86 Report Stats
Sat, 19 JulTimes shown AEST
STK 118 vs FRE 60 Report Stats
GWS 87 vs GEE 94 Report Stats
Sun, 20 JulTimes shown AEST
PTA 72 vs MEL 69 Report Stats
WBU 94 vs ESS 101 Report Stats
Fri, 25 JulTimes shown AEST
WCE 42 vs RIC 59 Report Stats
Sat, 26 JulTimes shown AEST
BRI 110 vs GCF 56 Report Stats
HAW 104 vs SYD 94 Report Stats
Sun, 27 JulTimes shown AEST
COL 82 vs ADE 98 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 19
Thu, 31 JulTimes shown AEST
FRE 83 vs CAR 78 Report Stats
Fri, 01 AugTimes shown AEST
SYD 79 vs ESS 57 Report Stats
Sat, 02 AugTimes shown AEST
ADE 105 vs WCE 136 Report Stats
RIC 89 vs GWS 62 Report Stats
GCF 117 vs STK 64 Report Stats
NTH 79 vs GEE 111 Report Stats
Sun, 03 AugTimes shown AEST
MEL 51 vs BRI 74 Stats
HAW 107 vs WBU 45 Report Stats
COL 76 vs PTA 70 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 20
Fri, 08 AugTimes shown AEST
RIC 95 vs ESS 77 Report Stats
Sat, 09 AugTimes shown AEST
GWS 51 vs NTH 126 Report Stats
CAR 97 vs GCF 58 Report Stats
HAW 115 vs MEL 65 Report Stats
PTA 58 vs SYD 84 Report Stats
GEE 81 vs FRE 79 Report Stats
Sun, 10 AugTimes shown AEST
BRI 63 vs ADE 168 Report Stats
STK 99 vs WBU 122 Report Stats
WCE 126 vs COL 66 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 21
Fri, 15 AugTimes shown AEST
CAR 76 vs GEE 82 Report Stats
Sat, 16 AugTimes shown AEST
SYD 127 vs STK 56 Stats
GCF 47 vs PTA 56 Report Stats
ESS 77 vs WCE 74 Report Stats
COL 56 vs BRI 123 Report Stats
ADE 69 vs RIC 79 Report Stats
Sun, 17 AugTimes shown AEST
NTH 111 vs WBU 61 Report Stats
MEL 34 vs GWS 98 Report Stats
FRE 110 vs HAW 91 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 22
Fri, 22 AugTimes shown AEST
PTA 140 vs CAR 37 Report Stats
Sat, 23 AugTimes shown AEST
NTH 101 vs ADE 94 Report Stats
ESS 108 vs GCF 89 Report Stats
GWS 67 vs COL 75 Report Stats
WCE 119 vs MEL 53 Report Stats
HAW 94 vs GEE 71 Report Stats
Sun, 24 AugTimes shown AEST
BRI 48 vs FRE 106 Report Stats
WBU 67 vs SYD 130 Report Stats
RIC 98 vs STK 72 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 23
Fri, 29 AugTimes shown AEST
COL 56 vs HAW 121 Stats
Sat, 30 AugTimes shown AEST
CAR 90 vs ESS 90 Stats
FRE 105 vs PTA 97 Stats
SYD 65 vs RIC 68 Stats
NTH 123 vs MEL 93 Stats
GEE 143 vs BRI 81 Stats
Sun, 31 AugTimes shown AEST
GCF 99 vs WCE 151 Stats
ADE 141 vs STK 62 Stats
WBU 109 vs GWS 115 Stats
View All Fixtures
AFL Finals Round 1
Fri, 05 SepTimes shown AEST
HAW 104 vs GEE 68 Report Stats
Sat, 06 SepTimes shown AEST
SYD 93 vs FRE 69 Stats
NTH 93 vs ESS 81 Report Stats
Sun, 07 SepTimes shown AEST
PTA 132 vs RIC 75 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
AFL Finals Round 2
Fri, 12 SepTimes shown AEST
GEE 92 vs NTH 98 Stats
Sat, 13 SepTimes shown AEST
FRE 83 vs PTA 105 Stats
View All Fixtures
AFL Finals Round 3
Fri, 19 SepTimes shown AEST
SYD 136 vs NTH 65 Report Stats
Sat, 20 SepTimes shown AEST
HAW 97 vs PTA 94 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
AFL Finals Round 4
Sat, 27 SepTimes shown AEST
SYD 74 vs HAW 137 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
AFL Home and Away
Overall standings
Team P W L D % Pts
Sydney Swans 22 17 5 0 142.88 68
Hawthorn 22 17 5 0 140.78 68
Geelong Cats 22 17 5 0 113.77 68
Fremantle 22 16 6 0 130.40 64
Port Adelaide 22 14 8 0 129.92 56
North Melbourne 22 14 8 0 117.04 56
Essendon 22 12 9 1 106.34 50
Richmond 22 12 10 0 105.77 48
View all
 
Featured advertisers