Newell’s Notes Round 19 Sydney vs Geelong 2019

Sunday was all about Tom Hawkins 250th

What a big day for the tall Cat forward and boy did Tom Hawkins celebrate it in style with 5 goals. The two-time premiership player stamped his authority early on in this game. His first goal in front of the SCG members was a text book, straight as a die shot on goal with the goal umpire craning the neck back, barely moving as the ball sailed overhead. Lots of opposition fans don’t like him, bit of a show pony they say or he’s simply over hyped, but Hawkins is actually playing some really good footy at the moment and was best on the ground on Sunday. He’s already booted 47 goals this season. I think when fans dislike a player it’s because they are just too good when it matters. Was lucky enough to see his father play, “Jumping” Jack Hawkins who was a stunning half back flanker who played alongside the likes of legendary Geelong defenders Bruce and Ian Nankervis. Jack was famous for the high leaps, but I also remember him as being an excellent spoiler of a mark. His son Tom has done really well and he’s a decent bloke. After the game he had his daughter with him during an “all-in” press conference. Tom seems to be in a pretty good place mentally and physically with his footy and come finals time he could be the one taking a crucial shot at goal to win a close match. Kudos to the Sydney Swans football team as well, lining up to salute a fellow footballer after the game. Bravo Tom Hawkins on 250 AFL games.

We are Geelong. The Cats boys were pretty happy in the sheds in Sydney on Sunday. Photo: Jodie Newell

Lazy, sloppy defense by Sydney in the final term

I saw some pretty lazy defense in the final term shown by Sydney. The game still had some time to run out (some 15 mins) but what I observed was an embarrassment and the result predictable. Consider the following two photos below. Tom Hawkins has the ball at around the 55 metre mark just outside the arc. Were there any tall players for Sydney standing on the goal line? A player like Hayden Mclean who is listed as being 197 cm tall? No. Instead the Swans defenders were either standing on the fence-line and two defenders on either side of the behind posts. Cats big man Zac Smith dwarfed Lewis Melican I know former Sydney coach Paul Roos was a stickler for having a clearing / goalkeeper like defender on the goal line. So Hawkins shot is short, in pops Jordan Clark to take a simple mark in the square and kicks a goal. Clark had plenty of room to move which Ryan Clarke allowed. It was a really poor defensive effort by Sydney. Maybe because the season is almost done, what does it matter to pay attention to the detail?. I think it matters, because it can become a habit, it can become part of a structural set up. It wasn’t a good look from the Sydney defense. I know Dane Rampe copped a nasty knock to the eye, but still it wasn’t too hard to be able to place some taller players in the area especially when it’s a set shot play that gives players time to move down the ground.

Tom Hawkins from around 55 metres out from goal This shot didn’t make the distance. Photo & Graphics : Jodie Newell

No talls in the goal square for the Swans Jordan Clark awaits the ball drop for a mark & goal. Photo & graphics: Jodie Newell

Scarlo a missed opportunity for the Sydney coaching job

It’s my opinion that the Sydney Swans have missed a golden opportunity to snare a person whom I believe is one of the hottest coaching prospects in football at the moment. This bloke was chomping down on a hamburger post game in the Geelong sheds and in between bites he was still gesturing to his “Misfits” (the nickname given to his 6 or so Geelong defenders)  on how to spoil, how to finesse and he was deadly serious and the game had been done and dusted some 10 minutes prior. Are you kidding me??. His name = Matthew Scarlett. His defense has the lowest against score of any side at the moment being 1217 points. What an outstanding job he’s done there with the likes of Tom Stewart, Jack Henry, Mark Blicavs and Harry Taylor. I’m not knocking John Longmire as a coach he won a premiership and has taken Sydney to two losing grand finals. Despite the chatter about the emerging young talent, I still think, he can’t go any further. This industry works out other strategists pretty quickly and you have to have a nimble football mind to adjust. Scarlett would have brought a new style to the Swans and I think that’s whats required. Sydney should have let Longmire return to North Melbourne, it would have been a nice, fresh homecoming start. But I think this is a major opportunity missed by the Sydney Swans football club.

Scarlo & the “Misfits” Geelong defensive coach Matthew Scarlett has been outstanding this year. Photo: Jodie Newell


About the Author

Jodie Newell
Love reporting on sports, politics, history and music