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Hawthorn too Buddy dependent

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Front & Centre: Celebrations in Sydney, recriminations at Hawthorn

AGE footy writers Caroline Wilson and Martin Blake cast their eyes over the epic Grand Final victory by Sydney over Hawthorn.

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LANCE Franklin was certainly Hawthorn's most potent player in the grand final and had the Hawks won, he might well have had a Norm Smith Medal on the mantelpiece alongside his Coleman and premiership medallions.

One cannot blame Buddy for defeat in a game in which he and midfielder Brad Sewell vied to be their team's best performers on the day and in which too many teammates produced too little.

But he also was highly profligate, booting 3.4 with two complete misses from nine shots at goal.

The pain: Lance Franklin finds it hard to face defeat after the final siren.

The pain: Lance Franklin finds it hard to face defeat after the final siren. Photo: Joe Armao

Jarryd Roughead's inability to hit the scoreboard (0.3, including a bad miss early) heightened Hawthorn's reliance on Buddy, which ultimately was a factor in its failure to deliver the club's 11th premiership.

Back in round 17, when the Hawks belted Collingwood by eight goals, they were without Franklin, who was then in his lengthy convalescence from a troublesome hamstring. On that day, Hawthorn's attack was multi-pronged - a collective that was very much ''all for one and one for all'' - with Jack Gunston emerging as a dead-eye, while Jordan Lewis banged through five goals and the Hawks piled on their customary 20 goals against the Pies.

By late September, however, when time and space are drastically reduced, delivery is haphazard and the pressure on the bloke with the ball is immense, the Hawks had lapsed into Buddy dependency.

Hawthorn's huge lead in centre clearances (19 to 5) enabled it to have 18 more forward entries than the Swans.

In the course of the match, the Hawks kicked the Sherrin to a single player - who might be double teamed or one out - on 22 occasions. Of those 22 kicks to a solitary man, Buddy accounted for nine. Overall, Hawthorn kicked the ball inside its forward-50 arc 51 times, so the 22 ''sole target'' number doesn't include bombs to packs in which Buddy was among those competing.

The next highest target player among the Hawks was David Hale (four times), with Luke Breust third (two). Significantly, Roughead was seldom kicked to, despite his 41 goals this season and stature as one of the game's better contested-marking forwards.

It's understandable why the Hawks would look for Franklin in more than 40 per cent of their forward thrusts on grand final day. He was electrifying in the first and especially the third quarter, when he booted two goals from outside 50 - one that caught the gusting wind must have carried more than 65 metres. He had Teddy Richards beaten in the air and no tall back can match him when the ball is on the deck.

But he did seem jittery in his set shots, a tendency that has afflicted him on occasion. Remarkably, all three of Buddy's goals were from outside 50, while he managed only 0.2 from 30 to 40 metres, the standard shots for key forwards.

This wasn't simply a case of grand final nerves because Franklin's set shots for the 2012 season (counting finals) produced 36.38. He booted 18.11 from shots on the run, 10.13 from snaps and 4.2 when marking and playing on. On Saturday, his preference for playing on - don't think about the shot, just do it - was plain. Then, in the final quarter, he laid off a pass to Gunston, rather than take the shot from 45 metres. In the circumstances this was probably a good call as Gunston is a straighter kick and was closer. But he hit the post with a shot that would have wrested the game back the Hawks' way.

In that final quarter, when the Swans were ahead, Richards outmarked Buddy on a high ball at a key moment - again, the Hawks had gone to him indiscriminately, rather than lowering their eyes for an open player. Sydney's pressure obviously made it difficult to spot up.

Franklin's 52 per cent accuracy rate is the worst among the Hawks' top-10 goalkickers. So while he's the game's premier forward and almost dragged the Hawks to glory, their overuse of him also dragged them down.


  • Despite his innaccuracy, nobody can lay blame on Franklin for the loss. His attack on the ball was superb, and he literally ran Richards ragged. He collected a lot of possessions, and did a hell of a lot more work than a lot of his teammates (Roughead and Gunston were quite poor, as was Puopolo). Birchall was subdued for most of the game, Young did very little, and Mitchell had fleeting glimpses of influence, but could not control the middle.

    But this does not give due credit to the Swans. They were coached terrifically well for this game, and their players played their roles. Pyke and LRT are not the best athletes, or the most skillful, but they were huge at times. McVeigh was everywhere, as was Hannebury. As a whole, more Swans players had an impact on the game. As a result, Hawthorn were reliant on too few to get them over the line (Sewell was huge).

    Congratulations to Sydney, I was very impressed watching from the stands on Saturday. Very deserving winners.

    Julius Seizure
    Date and time
    October 01, 2012, 1:37AM
    • Buddy's misses cost them the flag, no question, just like Mooney's misses cost the Cats in 08. Apparently Mooney was so distraught afterwards he couldn't leave his house for two weeks. Buddy was probably out on the town with his mates on Saturday night. That's the difference.

      Tigers fan
      Date and time
      October 01, 2012, 9:35AM
    • Richards was playing wih injections to be fair. But the Swans were a terrific team. It was a great game to watch.

      Date and time
      October 01, 2012, 9:56AM
    • He is there key goalkicker and you need your experienced forward and leader to kick the goals when the opportunities are there. That is what identifies as a true great player and leader. He had a great game, but failed when it mattered most. Rough was also responsible, as well as all others who missed simple shots. Ie Hale early.
      Had our chances and didnt take them. We of all teams should know that. It is a very important skill in the game - set shots and we failed miserably. Unfortunately it wasnt an off day -we have been doing it a long time and not fixing it. We lost last years prelim for same reason and I would argue the qualifying final last year as well in the first qtr kept geelong in it.
      Very disappointing coaching

      hawker of hobart
      Date and time
      October 01, 2012, 10:17AM
    • A just result.

      No way Hawthorn deserved to win that one. They had flashes of brilliance (late in the first quarter)...followed by loooooooooong periods of show-boating and inaccurate kicking...

      I wonder if all the commentators from last week will chime in now with their talk of dynasties...

      Somehow I doubt it...

      2007, 2009, 2011, 2013

      Date and time
      October 01, 2012, 10:28AM
    • I agree.

      For me, I like both these teams, but barrack for the roos.

      I was hoping for a close game. I got it.

      In the end, the umps did a good job. What cost hawthorn was 2 things.

      Bad kicking, caused partly by high Sydney pressure, and, Sydney getting an extra days rest.

      I may have missed something up here in port Douglas, but shouldn't hawthorn got to play the week before, on the Friday night?

      My feeling is that an extra days rest would have got the hawks over the line.

      The hawks were maybe robbed, like what they did to Geelong in 2008, and like Adelaide did to the kangas in 1998, when north kicked 2.11 in the second qtr to lose the game.

      Having said all that. How awesome is Adam goodes? The pays the game out, with a busted knee, and still was able to do some excellent kicks, right at the end. Inspiring stuff.

      Kam i Am
      Port Douglas
      Date and time
      October 01, 2012, 10:31AM
    • I have said for years that our poor kicking for goal is going to cost us a premiership . . . people laughed and now i am vindicated - I feel so hollow

      What has been done at a coaching level to get Franklin and Roughead kicking more accurately ?? It is an indictment for Clarkson that their poor kicking has been tolerated !!! Clarkson shrugs it off and says it will be weight of inside 50s that will win the game - that has allowed complacency among the forwards - "of well we'll have another shot on goal soon" . . . Would Jason Dunstall or Dermie have ever been so wasteful ??

      We were lucky to get over Adelaide and yet we played exactly the same gameplan in the G/F?? It points to bad coaching in the Clarkson has never had a plan B - what different tactic did he try in the second quarter ? All he does is get angry, throw a temper tantrum and scowl . . . he has no ability to inspire or seek an alternative course of action. Longmire coached brilliantly - just looking at the TV shots in the box he was on the phone communicating and calling the plays in a rational direct manner - not playing the pork chop like our 'supposed' coach.

      Our rebuilding for next year has to start with getting rid of the coach, replacing him with a communicator and then the players will have a chance to street the opposition for the next three years . . .

      Buddy Liability Clarko must Go
      South Yarra
      Date and time
      October 01, 2012, 10:39AM
    • "Tigers fan" - how would you know if he was out on the town or at home distraught? Have you met the guy? Do you know him personally? Or just making assumptions. I know for a fact that he used his one day off in the lead up to the prelim to do something very charitable off his own bat with no press coverage but of course you probably assume he was off chasing girls or something cos you know so much. Fool.

      Swans had more good players on the day and truly deserved the premiership, Buddy played well but missed a couple he should off got but to assume he doesn't care is ridiculous.

      Date and time
      October 01, 2012, 11:32AM
    • Buddy liability - you are spot on. I am the same as you and have not been inspired by Clarksons inabiltiy to have a plan b never mind a plan c. Also he has no ability whatsover to stop a run-on 8 unanswered goals in a GF - how does that happen. Its not like Sydney played any differently to how they always play. Tight cotested footy - exactly what is expected.
      and I dint go much on Hodges speech either - oh well we will just come back next year and do it again.
      this year was the year. good run with injuries like you need. But our game plan is now exposed and teams will work out how to stop us. there are a lot of other teams also believing next year is their chance. We blew it big time and Sydney did what they came to do and had the professionalism and poise to finish it off. We didnt and that is a reflection of our coaching.
      Best kicking side ever Pfffft. Not even the best this year. It only counts under pressure and we couldnt respond and there were way too many times where we tried to bump a player instead of tackling and they just spun out.
      We need a coach who can think and improve the player skills. Buddy being the case in point, but Rough has same yips. Rough needs to be given a permanent role- for mine CHB, get a new midfielder in and sort out the ruck role.

      hawker of hobart
      Date and time
      October 01, 2012, 1:16PM
    • "Franklin's set shots for the 2012 season (counting finals) produced 36.38" Is that good enough kicking for a key forward? Beyong 30m Franklin struggles and so do many other so called key forwards. I dont think they should award a Coleman medal unless they have kicked more than 100 goals.

      Date and time
      October 01, 2012, 1:37PM

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