My best hope for Friday night was no injuries or suspensions and no major damage to our percentage. Well, we achieved that and more.
What a stirring win. We’ve had a few over Hawthorn and we’ve been in great form so I don’t know why we were such long odds. I know a number of Tigers who made the bookies suffer.
Just to focus on Hawthorn for a minute, we genuinely dismantled their game. They were reduced to firing it into the forward line with a trench mortar, up and down, and our Sensational Six down back just killed it time and again. Burgoyne, Hodge and Mitchell made basic errors under perceived pressure. Breust and Roughy didn’t see enough of it to make many mistakes. Cyril’s set shots were dreadful. McEvoy seemed like a liability, just beaten to a smooth paste by Ivan all night. I don’t think this was one of those ‘complacent favourites didn’t come to play’ situations – we made it happen with our pressure and run from the first bounce.
I love the team aspect of footy. I don’t have much time at all for individual sport. Champions thrill us with their exploits, but even better for me is to see a team go out with a plan and execute it, every member doing their job, 100%. OK, 99% because I really can’t explain what went on in Ty’s mind when he cocked up that goal in the last quarter. But you get my drift.
This fellow Hardwick, he’s putting together a decent CV of coaching conquests. I think we all agree Clarkson is the benchmark at the moment, and Dimma took him down. He has not enjoyed a ton of respect at times from the fans and the wider football world, but it might be time to reassess that.
I would love to know what Dimma’s instructions to the 22 were. Grimes kicked to the corridor twice in one quarter from the half back flank – boneheaded decisions or part of a brilliant plan? Once he hit his target perfectly, once it ended in a stoppage with no harm done. Dusty’ first six or eight minutes were incredible, receiving and giving off tiny kicks through gaps and blind handpasses that came off. The skipper was nasty. Dimma’s got guys doing things they actually don’t know how to do. They are in midair like Wile E. Coyote, and they just need to avoid looking down for the next 8 weeks.
Anything is possible, which is quite frightening really.