It was a crisp Friday night but there was nothing Cold War about the Hawthorn/Kangaroos clash. Before the siren there were brushfires everywhere and North were stuffing kindling down every pair of Hawthorn shorts they could find and Ziebell was the fire-starter. After careening into Mitchell the whole ground went aflame WWE style while Mitchell stole away up field and Hawthorn goaled.
Young Wagner went to the bench to grab some Mexican wrestling masks while McEvoy went all Hodor on Ziebell—retaliating on behalf of his diminutive warg-master Mitchell.
Petrie is pinged for an unrealistic marking attempt but really Sicily should have been charged with being an unreliable ladder. He gets another chance soon though and for a brief moment the brutal arts give way to the balletic as Petrie dances with Burgoyne and Stratton.
The quarter had been fairly even for 10 minutes but now Hawthorn defenders were looking like peppered ramparts in a willing game of Space Invaders. When the siren sounds North get physical again, this time more in a gentler, Olivia Newton John sense. A classic example of history repeating itself - the first time as tragedy, the second as farce.
Wells is in superb form and is dragging Rioli around the ground like a tethered balloon. There's an engaging race on the wing between Hartung and Harvey, but pride always comes before a fall. Hartung bounces loose and Harvey steals the leathery egg. Hawthorn's forward line appears to have a force field around it but finally Rioli penetrates it like a zygote. For all North's domination, the score now reads a flattening 26:20 North's way and soon Rioli makes it even Stevens at 32 a piece.
At half-time 7 continue with their mic'd up player experiment, but I prefer the visage muted and to overlay in my mind what is being said onfield –reality is usually a disappointment which is why we have script-writers. Speaking of professional entertainers, is young O'Brien any relation to Conan O'Brien? Uncanny. Maybe all O'Brien's lived on the Galapagos Islands until post WWII.
Anyway, back at the game Thomas trips after giving chase to Burgoyne who then fudges a bounce and trips himself. North are handling Hawthorn with violent care, making sure they rough them up but without giving away frees. Of course as soon as I note this Thompson garrottes Sicily. Soon Thomas gives away a 2nd 50 metre penalty and it's very feast or famine with him.
After a flurry of goals back Tarrant looks desperate to ring Breust's neck. How many North fans wished that those mittens were pincers, but alas. Goldstein launches like a ballistic missile, sadly a North Korean one and the result is disappointing. Wells is setting it up like Paul Newman in The Sting and on 3 quarter time Thompson shakes McEvoy like a piece of Rolf Harris wobbleboard.
In the final quarter Goldstein looks like a pensive oracle at the centre bounce and after Sicily goals again Bruce, with his usual restraint, suggests they may name a country after him. Fortunately there is some Cometti ballast and he shows Bruce how wordplay is done. After a Mullett attempt at mark Dennis states that was "almost catch of the day". Mullett soon runs over and clips Gunston like a Victa mower and Daw manhandles Smith like he's a figurine. After some much talked about head-high frees to Sicily and not to Thomas, after a fashion MacMillan throws his head back for a free but it's deemed prior opportunity. No dice boyo and the game is over. Brad Scott at the press conference smells an anti-North umpiring conspiracy but he has canine level acuity—sniffing out things the other humans cannot detect. A disappointing end after a valiant performance.
On Saturday afternoon I thought I'd stumbled on a freak weather news item but it was the Swans/Demons squaring up. It was wetter out there than an American '80s tele-drama, ergo, there was a strong likelihood of low scores and poor skills, with heavy bouts of brutality throughout the day, clearing to a light drizzle.
Wagner was out there for Melbourne preparing for a Ride of the Valkyries. What a perfect fit he is for this club with his blonde hair and rider's crop. I'm hearing Von Metternich is performing well in the reserves as well. The first goal comes from Petracca in trying conditions and his thighs look like the property of a Bulgarian weightlifter. The umpires are letting a lot pass through unfettered and this could very soon resemble The Gangs of New York.
On the boundary line Hayes reveals he's a secret bee. Either that or he's paying homage to the Tigers: Rip in peace bye-Tigers.
Dawes shows he's nothing if not consistent as he runs at the ball like a mummy with trampoline hands. Meanwhile Jones is trying to fashion some sort of grass hair! He'll do anything, honestly, give it up man, the war is over. Just get a hair hat from Morrie and be done with it.
There are packs forming everywhere and they're busier than the busiest of busy bees on National Busy Bee Day. If you want to keep warm today being near Kennedy is recommended owing to his ball barning ability. In the wet conditions Rohan rides Bugg across the goal-line like a sled and Sam Frost is looking busy and Busey. At half-time it's 32:15 Sydney's way.
Young Rose the scurvy victim manages to kick the ball at right angles over the boundary line, a rare skill. Dermott provides some thug notes for Hogan to ponder in violent forward war-craft. Rose is everywhere today like a California speculator. Speaking of such, Petracca does some heavy pick work and digs up a nugget, it's gold—Eureka! Aliir makes an error, eliciting a theatrical response from the coach's box.
When Franklin kicks a third goal they cut to his stock-footage and he looks to me very owlish and wise. And on the wings of Minerva, Sydney takes flight. When Dean Towers burns it up like an inferno you know this is a hellish day.
Sydney are piling on the goals now and are treating Melbourne to a bath and a shower at the same time. Thanks for coming to visit.