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Footy Flashbacks: Round 2 edition

Richard Allsop  March 26, 2014 9:45 AM

This Friday night, Hawthorn will be trying to win consecutive games to start a season for just the third time in the last 20 years. 2001 and 2008 are the only recent seasons in which the Hawks have started with two wins.

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The seven changes Hawthorn made last week was the equal highest between a premiership and the opening round of the following season in club history. The other occasion when that many changes were made was Round 1, 2009.

The fewest changes were made in Round 1 1987 when Hawthorn took the field for a re-match against Grand Final opponent Carlton with just two changes to the flag-winning team (Ray Jencke and Tony Symonds replaced Gary Buckenara and Terry Wallace).

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The injury that forced Ben Stratton to miss in Round 1 brought to an end his sequence of 52 consecutive games, which was the longest since a run of 63 consecutive games by Grant Birchall from 2006 to 2009.

Stratton’s sequence began in the 2011 Semi Final against Sydney and concluded in the 2013 Grand Final. The new current leader for consecutive games is Luke Breust with 47, a sequence which began in Round 5 2012.

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30 years ago, in Round 2 1984, Hawthorn and Essendon also met in Round 2. The Hawks came away from Windy Hill victorious, although the final margin was much smaller than in the previous year’s Grand Final, being just 6 points – 17.14.116 to 16.14.110. The decisive quarter was the third when Hawthorn turned a 10 point half time deficit into a 20 point lead at the final change. Both Dermott Brereton and Chris Langford kicked 4 goals for the Hawks, while future Hawk, Paul Salmon booted 7 for the Dons.

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The number 36, which Derick Wanganeen wore in his debut last Saturday, has not been a particularly auspicious one in modern Hawthorn history. In recent years Max Bailey wore it in his first four games in 2006 before suffering knee injuries and shifting to number 1 and then 39. Alex Woodward was given 36 in the past two seasons but did not play a game in it as, like Bailey, he suffered serious knee injuries. Others to wear the number in a handful of games in recent years include Bo Nixon, Josh Kennedy and Jordan Lisle.

In fact, it is more than 40 years since a player wore 36 in more than 10 games - Gene Chiron wore it in 33 games from 1969 to 1972 (before shifting to number 9 in 1973). However, the number has been worn by some famous football names. Andrew Demetriou wore it in his 3 Hawthorn games in 1988 and Ricky Nixon did so in his 8 in 1992-93.

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In the recent past, Hawthorn and Essendon have put together lengthy winning sequences against each other. Essendon beat Hawthorn on 10 consecutive occasions from 1998 to 2005, followed by 6 wins in a row to Hawthorn from 2005 to 2008. Essendon won 3 consecutive encounters in 2009-10, before Hawthorn got on the current winning sequence of 4 in the second clash in 2010.

Overall, the two clubs have played each other 155 times, with the Hawks winning 60 and losing 95. Hawthorn has twice recorded sequences of 6 consecutive wins against Essendon, in 1987-89 and 2005-08.

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Hawthorn and Essendon have clashed at Docklands on seven previous occasions, with the Hawks holding a 4-3 advantage. None of the games have been close as the Hawks won by 18 points (2006), 51 (2008), 94 (2012) and 56 (2013), while Essendon’s wins were by 83 (2000), 65 (2001) and 44 (2009). Two of the six games have attracted 50,000 plus crowds, the largest being 50,701 in 2001.

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40 years ago, in Round 2 1974, Hawthorn played its first home game at Princes Park. It was not an auspicious occasion as in wet conditions Hawthorn managed only 6.12.48 to Collingwood’s 10.11.71. Peter Hudson was held goalless for just the second time in his career and did not play again until 1977.

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Overall, Round 2 is one of the club’s poorest with 36 wins, one draw and 52 losses, but there has been some improvement in recent seasons, with 4 wins out of the last 7, including last year’s 50 point triumph over West Coast in Perth.

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The best individual goalkicking performance by a Hawthorn player against Essendon is 12 by Jason Dunstall in 1992, followed by 11 by Leigh Matthews in 1973 and 10 by Michael Moncrieff in 1972. Dunstall also holds the club’s Round 2 record, kicking 9 twice – in 1988 versus Richmond and in 1991 versus Sydney.