Round 11 proudly supported by
Men’s Seniors v Richmond Central
Coming off a dominant display last week, the Hawks were keen to continue their percentage boosting performances in order to secure a place in the top two. Standing in their way was a quality opposition in Richmond Central, but the Hawks were able to overcome them and run out as 61 point victors.
The Hawks once again proved just how strong of a team they are fielding for the 2023 season; with a strong showing from all areas of the ground. First and foremost, the Hawthorn forward line was once again a domineering presence over the match, with goals flying thick and fast to nine individual goal scorers; but flying thicker and faster to Hawks full forward Justin Raiti who notched up six majors in an impressive display. Raiti now leads the league in goals kicked for the 2023 season, and with more commanding displays sure to come, him accepting the award at the end of season does not seem out of the realm of possibility. With Raiti assisted by the run and carry efforts of Luke McLeod on the half forward flank, the Hawks forward line has sharpened into a dangerous weapon.
The Hawks midfield also proved their mettle against a tough opponent, with Ethan Harvey and Xavier Bryham in the centre and Josh Shannon on the wing proving their abilities in and around the contest; with their characteristic speed and slick ball movement on full display. The game starts in the middle - literally - which means the Hawks midfield going from strength to strength as the season reaches its conclusion is all the more important.
One would be remiss not to mention the backline, of course. The defence, led by Eamonn Avery, stood strong all game, holding the Snakes to eight goals for the game. Avery’s footy smarts, defensive pressure and skill exiting the defensive fifty set the Hawks up beautifully on the rebound.
The match was a hard fought but comprehensive victory for the Hawks and sets them up for this week’s challenge against Wattle Park. With a chance to climb the ladder and assert themselves as a top two side, the Hawks are ready to take off. Destination: Glory.
0.0. 0.0. 0.0 17.15 (117)
0.0 0.0 0.0 8.8 (56)
GOALS J. Raiti 6, J. Kenny 3, J. Cowland 2, C. Boots, S. Dicintio, J. Wilson, L. McLeod, C. Lee, J. Shannon
BEST E. Harvey, E. Avery, J. Raiti, J. Shannon, X. Bryham, L. McLeod
Men’s Reserves v Richmond Central
One of the many pleasures of local footy is the crowd. On a chilly June evening, one could forgive a lacklustre showing, but the crowd gathered to watch an enticing clash between the Hawks and the Snakes was healthy in number and in voice. Celebrating their NAIDOC round, RCAFC hosted an impressive day to honour First Nations peoples and their contributions to the club. The match, too, rose to the occasion, ending with a thrilling one goal score differential.
The game began on even footing, with only a point separating the teams at quarter time. Luke Huber, the Hawks’ ever-reliable ruckman was at his best, directing his taps deftly into the laps of his waiting midfielders. This gave the Hawks the edge they needed to put together a dominant clearance game.
In the second term, defensive efforts from Phil Avery and Cal Sloane kept the Snakes from slithering away with a large lead, and the sides went into the half-time break only three points down. While the Hawks suffered some injuries, the remaining players rose to the occasion and gave the spectators quite the show.
After the half time break, the Hawks came out firing, keen to hit the front. John Farah stood and delivered, scoring three majors for the game and providing a much needed marking target and a strong physical presence for the Snakes to grapple with. The Hawks ended the third term just two points down, with all signs pointing towards a grandstand finish.
In the final quarter, Clancey’s Candy Shop provided spectators with a Kevin Bartlett Reserve with a special pop-up shop; Liam Clancey’s final quarter lift was instrumental to the Hawks being able to fight right to the finish line. Tom Hartson was also pivotal on the wing, providing link up play and running support.
Despite falling short by just a goal, the match was extremely entertaining, worthy of such an important round. As Reserves Head Coach Tim Chapman noted, the loss was tough, but proud; “ we threw everything at Richmond and walked off the ground with nothing left to give.” Chapman praised the group’s development over the last five weeks, and said the side is looking forward to this week. The Hawks will take on top seed Wattle Park at home, in the second match of a massive Triple Header day at the Nest.
0.0 3.5 6.9 7.9 (51)
0.0 4.2 7.5 8.9 (57)
GOALS J. Farah 3, W. Meehan 3, C. Chenoweth
BEST C. Sloane, L. Huber, P. Avery, J. Farah, L. Clancey, T. Hartson
Women’s Seniors v Old Haileybury
It was another tough day in the office for the Women’s side, going down to Old Haileybury by 96 points. However, it will take more than defeat to clip the Hawks’ wings; their tenacity, commitment to the contest, and willingness to improve always puts them in good stead.
The defensive work of Mia Mathias, Tess Bodin and Deniece “Doc” Fon was instrumental to the Hawks keeping the opposition at bay; with their high pressure, tackling and speed, as well as Mathias’ impressively long kick, the defence, which as been under the pump constantly since round one, held firm and battled it out from the first siren to the very last.
The Hawks midfield was also testament to the growth and development the Hawks have undergone since jumping up a division this season; with ruck Mads impressing, as did her midfield support system; inside player Rachel Urquhart was everywhere, fighting at the bottom on the pack, spreading the ball outside of the contest, and providing the run, spark, and leadership the Hawks needed in the face of defeat. Outside-mid Joelly Firmin also impressed, with her footy smarts, ball skills, and composure on full display and a welcome addition to the Hawks side.
In all, the Hawks may have lost but will take it as further instruction for their rebuild and redevelopment, and look to the possibility of notching up a win this week against Old Xaverians at the Nest. The Women’s side will kick off the Triple Header round and seek to start the day off with a win for the Hawks.
0.2 0.2 0.3 0.3 (3)
3.5 4.7 10.13 14.15 (99)
BEST M. Mathias, T. Bodin, R. Urquhart, J. Firmin, M. Keeffe, D. Fon