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Hawthorn vs Western Bulldogs

Scoreboard | Match report | Match statistics

2SF   Venue: M.C.G.   Date: Fri, 16-09-2016 7:50 pm   Crowd: 87,823  
Hawthorn 3.4.227.5.478.9.5712.12.84 C:  Alastair Clarkson
Western Bulldogs 1.5.116.10.4612.11.8316.11.107 C:  Luke Beveridge
  HAW by 11HAW by 1WBULL by 26WBULL by 23  
Weather
min temp  9.0°C      max temp  15.7°C
rainfall  13.4mm    humidity  55%    air pressure  1018.4mb
wind speed 11km/h      wind direction  NNW

Match Report

The giant of the AFL - Hawthorn - has finally been slain. All through the 2016 season, it has teetered and staggered yet somehow found a way to stay upright and, even as late as midway through the third term in Friday night's match against the Western Bulldogs, it looked as if it would live to fight another battle. But not this time. The Dogs, who had been pressing throughout the evening without much reward, delivered a stunning blow late in the third quarter and early in the last term to turn an evenly poised match into a seven-goal lead.

The Hawks made one final valiant effort to climb off the canvas late in the match, kicking four consecutive goals to raise the hopes of their fans and make those of the Bulldogs very nervous, but it was too little, too late, and Caleb Daniel's post-siren goal after he had nailed another tackle capped a 23-point win that ended a reign that began way back in 2013. The Bulldogs will now go on to take on some more Giants - this time of the GWS variety - to try and win their way through to their first Grand Final since 1961.

As they had done in the Elimination Final against West Coast, the Bulldogs started with a flourish but were wasteful in front of goal, the ball spending much of the first 15 minutes locked inside their forward line for a net reward of just three behinds, while Hawthorn's few forays to their own attacking zone had yielded goals to James Sicily and Jack Gunston. While the Dogs were able to recover from a virtually identical situation against the Eagles, Hawthorn would be a much tougher beast to crack.

Midway through the term the Hawks started to seize the momentum and, after a couple of missed shots of their own, through Paul Puopolo and Isaac Smith, they brought up their third goal when Puopolo marked and made amends for his earlier miss to put Hawthorn ahead by three goals. The Bulldogs regrouped, however, and dominated much of the time-on period, a feature that is normally a trademark of the Hawks. A nice pass from Josh Dunkley to Easton Wood saw the skipper kick truly to register a "captain's" goal and keep the Dogs in touch. At the first break, Hawthorn held an 11-point lead, 3.4 to 1.5.

The last thing the Bulldogs needed to start the second quarter was a quick goal to the Hawks but that's exactly what they had to contend with when a clearance from the centre bounce landed in the hands of Cyril Rioli and he ran in and goaled to put Hawthorn 17 points ahead. The Bulldogs responded, though, and it was their big-name young guns, Jake Stringer and Marcus Bontempelli, who led the way, with a Stringer snapped goal followed by an accurate set shot from Bontempelli after he had outpointed Hawk skipper Luke Hodge in a marking contest, ultimately one of the moments in the match that would signify a 'changing of the guard'. 

The hardened Hawks were not about to capitulate as the Eagles had done a week earlier, though, and they dominated the next 10 minutes after Bontempelli's goal. They franked that dominance with majors to Bradley Hill, Luke Hodge and Liam Shiels and midway through the quarter led by 23 points. At that point, it seemed to be the Bulldogs on the ropes but they fought on without managing to exert scoreboard pressure, with both Dunkley and Johannisen missing shots.

Luke Breust had a chance to deliver what might well have been a knockout blow but his set shot at 19-minute mark missed. From that moment, the game transformed. After Dunkley missed another shot, he finally kicked truly after a mark and then Clay Smith followed up with two marks and majors of his own to bring the Bulldogs to within three points. The Dogs could have taken the lead prior to the long break but Tom Boyd and Tory Dickson both missed shots and at the long break, it was Hawthorn by a solitary point. 

Hawthorn had a chance to repeat its effort of then second term early in the third quarter when it won the clearance to give Sicily a set shot at goal but his kick from 40 metres missed. Four minutes later, though, Breust did not miss, his first goal atoning for his miss of the second quarter and giving the Hawks an eight-point buffer. But a strong mark from Liam Picken saw him kick a goal at the seven-minute mark, and the Dogs were back within two points.

Hawthorn had its chances to extend its lead again over the next five minutes but Jack Gunston, Isaac Smith and Liam Shiels all kicked behinds. At the 15-minute mark, the moment came. A lovely pass from Clay Smith saw Stringer mark and his accurate kick saw the Bulldogs take the lead. It was by the narrowest of margins, but they would not relinquish it. Over the next 15 minutes, the Bulldogs announced themselves as an undoubted premiership contender and endeared themselves to the hearts of most non-Hawthorn supporters as they added another four goals through Jordan Roughead, Toby McLean, Stringer again and Bontempelli. When the three-quarter time siren sounded, the Dogs were suddenly 26 points clear and Hawthorn was, if not on the canvas, certainly on the ropes. 

The first 10 minutes of the final quarter decided the result once and for all. The Bulldogs got the vital first goal when Tory Dickson received a perfect pass from Bontempelli and kicked truly. It was a very important goal for the Dogs, but also for Dickson, after the normally deadly accurate goalkicker had missed three earlier gettable shots, appearing to succumb to nerves. Dickson's goal put the Bulldogs 32 points ahead, and further goals Picken at the six and 10-minute marks had them 43 points clear and as good as home. 

As champion teams do, Hawthorn fought on valiantly, and over the next 15 minutes the Hawks kept the Bulldogs scoreless while adding majors through Liam Shiels, Jack Fitzpatrick, Shaun Burgoyne and Hodge. That cut the margin to 17 points to cause a bit of panic amongst Doggies' fans for a brief couple of minutes but the Dogs settled in the last few minutes, Daniel's goal after the final siren setting off a wave of unbridled celebration among players and fans alike. 

Bontempelli belied his years, the 20-year-old playing the sort of game one would expect from a seasoned finals campaigner. He had 27 touches, kicked two goals and even had seven important hitouts as a "third up" ruckman. Jack Macrae (39 disposals, eight marks), Dunkley (23 possessions, six tackles) and Picken (three goals, eight marks) were all also magnificent. For the Hawks Liam Shiels stood out with 12 tackles and 20 touches while the old warrior Hodge fought on to the bitter end, taking eight marks and having 20 possessions of his own. 

The Hawks will now reflect on an era that has come to a close, or at the very least a pause, as they ponder their first season since 2010 in which they will not participate in a Preliminary Final. 

The Western Bulldogs, meanwhile, keep the dream alive for another week. The Dogs will start outsiders for the third week in a row when they travel to the Sydney Showground next Saturday to take on GWS. Being outsiders won't bother them at all, though, and they know that their best football will give them every chance of knocking off the Giants and moving into their first Grand Final since 1961. 

GOALS
Hawthorn: Shiels 2, Hodge 2, Sicily, Gunston, Puopolo, Rioli, Hill, Breust, Fitzpatrick, Burgoyne,
Western Bulldogs: Stringer 3, Picken 3, Smith 2, Bontempelli 2, Wood, McLean, Dunkley, Roughead, Dickson, Daniel

BEST - AFL.COM.AU
Hawthorn: Shiels, Hodge, Mitchell, Smith, Duryea
Western Bulldogs: Bontempelli, Macrae, Picken, Smith, Dunkley, Dahlhaus

BEST - THE SATURDAY AGE
Hawthorn: Shiels, Birchall, Burgoyne, Gunston, Mitchell, Rioli
Western Bulldogs: Bontempelli, Daniel, Liberatore, Macrae, Roughead, Hunter, Picken, Biggs, Dahlhaus, Smith

INJURIES
Hawthorn: Nil
Western Bulldogs: Nil

UMPIRES: Donlon, Stevic, Nicholls

TELEVISION BROADCAST: Seven Network

COMMENTATORS: Bruce McAvaney, Dennis Cometti, Leigh Matthews, Wayne Carey, Cameron Ling, Matthew Richardson

Source

Match Report by Andrew Gigacz

Match stats

Hawthorn Match Stats Career
# Player K M H D G B HO T FF FA Age Games G
14 Birchall, Grant 11 4 7 18 0 0 0 3 0 1 28y 232d 240 33
22 Breust, Luke 7 4 3 10 1 2 0 2 2 0 25y 310d 140 271
9 Burgoyne, Shaun 13 5 9 22 1 0 0 3 0 1 33y 331d 319 259
8 Duryea, Taylor 9 5 4 13 0 0 0 4 0 1 25y 145d 86 14
32 Fitzpatrick, Jack 6 3 8 14 1 0 8 5 2 0 25y 82d 25 27
12 Frawley, James 5 3 4 9 0 0 0 6 0 1 27y 362d 179 24
6 Gibson, Josh 7 4 13 20 0 0 0 4 1 0 32y 187d 213 5
19 Gunston, Jack 7 6 8 15 1 1 0 3 0 0 24y 336d 127 271
4 Hartung, Billy 8 3 9 17 0 0 0 3 0 1 21y 236d 45 22
10 Hill, Bradley 9 3 6 15 1 0 0 3 1 1 23y 69d 95 58
15 Hodge, Luke 12 8 8 20 2 0 2 6 0 0 32y 93d 286 192
3 Lewis, Jordan 3 2 7 10 0 0 3 6 0 2 30y 145d 264 145
7 McEvoy, Ben 6 3 5 11 0 0 38 5 1 0 27y 67d 146 56
5 Mitchell, Sam 13 0 11 24 0 0 0 5 2 0 33y 340d 307 67
28 Puopolo, Paul 9 3 8 17 1 2 0 10 1 0 28y 289d 133 132
33 Rioli, Cyril 9 5 4 13 1 1 0 5 1 3 27y 64d 178 268
25 Schoenmakers, Ryan 3 0 2 5 0 0 0 2 0 1 25y 313d 101 31
26 Shiels, Liam 12 2 8 20 2 1 0 12 3 4 25y 140d 142 47
21 Sicily, James 6 6 5 11 1 2 0 6 0 1 21y 254d 25 34
16 Smith, Isaac 15 3 6 21 0 2 1 6 0 2 27y 261d 135 111
24 Stratton, Ben 2 4 8 10 0 0 0 5 0 0 27y 199d 138 1
11 Whitecross, Brendan 6 5 6 12 0 0 0 1 0 0 26y 235d 97 40
  Rushed   1  
  Totals 178 81 149 327 12 12 52 105 14 19 27y 164d 3421 2108
Western Bulldogs Match Stats Career
# Player K M H D G B HO T FF FA Age Games G
24 Biggs, Shane 10 2 5 15 0 0 0 2 1 2 25y 42d 40 7
4 Bontempelli, Marcus 16 5 11 27 2 0 7 1 2 1 20y 297d 61 57
5 Boyd, Matthew 10 3 9 19 0 0 0 0 1 0 34y 20d 280 83
17 Boyd, Tom 3 4 15 18 0 1 7 5 0 0 21y 25d 36 34
12 Cordy, Zaine 8 2 3 11 0 0 0 4 0 1 19y 325d 9 5
6 Dahlhaus, Luke 7 1 16 23 0 0 0 7 0 2 24y 26d 113 95
35 Daniel, Caleb 12 6 7 19 1 0 0 3 1 1 20y 71d 32 16
29 Dickson, Tory 6 5 6 12 1 3 0 0 1 0 28y 356d 77 131
20 Dunkley, Josh 17 6 6 23 1 2 1 6 2 0 19y 251d 15 9
30 Hamling, Joel 6 2 4 10 0 0 0 0 3 0 23y 160d 21 0
7 Hunter, Lachie 12 2 9 21 0 1 0 1 1 0 21y 278d 60 26
39 Johannisen, Jason 9 6 6 15 0 1 0 2 1 1 23y 313d 62 18
21 Liberatore, Tom 6 0 14 20 0 0 0 4 0 0 24y 123d 96 32
11 Macrae, Jack 16 8 23 39 0 0 0 2 0 0 22y 44d 75 18
16 McLean, Toby 9 2 12 21 1 1 0 1 1 1 20y 229d 17 15
38 Morris, Dale 2 2 8 10 0 0 0 3 0 0 33y 262d 228 3
42 Picken, Liam 14 8 10 24 3 0 0 1 3 0 30y 46d 174 60
23 Roughead, Jordan 5 2 6 11 1 1 20 4 0 2 25y 318d 111 24
14 Smith, Clay 8 3 8 16 2 0 0 10 1 3 23y 128d 45 30
9 Stringer, Jake 10 4 4 14 3 0 0 3 0 0 22y 144d 71 135
1 Suckling, Matt 11 4 7 18 0 0 0 2 1 0 28y 53d 119 58
10 Wood, Easton 6 4 5 11 1 0 0 1 0 0 27y 12d 105 15
  Rushed   1  
  Totals 203 81 194 397 16 11 35 62 19 14 24y 210d 1847 871

Footnotes

* Behinds calculated from the 1965 season on.
+ Score at the end of extra time.