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Five talking points: R8

R8: Luke Breust Post Match Luke Breust spoke post-match about how the side were in the hunt all night but let the win slip late in the final quarter.

1. Good old fashioned shoot out

Jack Gunston vs Ben Ronke. It wasn’t exactly the shoot out punters predicted when previewing Friday night’s game. But, after one quarter of football, the unexpected battle was in full swing, as Gunston slotted three of his side’s four goals, before young Ronke did one better, slotting his fourth major as the quarter time siren sounded. The Swans rookie had the final say, stunning everybody with a seven-goal haul in just his third AFL game, while Gunston finished with a respectable bag of five.

Read: Match report - Hawthorn v Sydney

2. Another tight finish

Except for an 89-point win in Round 16 2015, every hit out between the Hawks and Swans since the 2014 grand final has been decided by three goals or less. From start to finish, Friday night’s clash had the makings of another classic and, as expected, the winner wasn’t decided until the dying minutes. After holding control of the contest late in the fourth term, the Hawks’ defence leaked three goals as the Swans found another gear. The ledger now sits at 4-3 since 2014, slightly tilted in the Hawks’ favour.

 

3. Dark horse in the Coleman race

After adding another three goals to his tally on Friday night, Luke Breust has firmed as a serious contender for this year’s Coleman Medal. He currently sits in second place with 23 goals, behind Ben brown (26). With West Coast’s Jack Darling (22), Melbourne’s Jesse Hogan (20) and GWS’ Jeremy Cameron (19) rounding out the top five, Breust is the only small forward currently in contention after eight rounds. He is averaging 2.88 goals a game – clear of his previous season best, 2.28, in 2014. That year, he was named an All Australian.
 

4. Quiet night for former clubmen

Former Swan Tom Mitchell was held to a modest 20 disposals, while former Hawk Josh Kennedy collected a quiet 19. Both clubs found answers for their past players, with youngsters George Hewett (Syd) and Daniel Howe (Hawks) given the respective ‘run-with’ roles. However, it was Sydney’s midfielders who responded best in the ‘absence’ of their captain, as Luke Parker racked up seven centre clearances and Jake Lloyd finished with 36 touches.
 

5. Hawks shine light on mental health

This weekend was about more than just football, with beyondblue Round celebrated across all levels and leagues throughout Victoria. Players around the state donned blue tape on their wrists, in an effort to start meaningful conversations about positive mental health. The Hawks and Swans also contested the beyondblue Cup, with beyondblue Chair Julia Gillard presenting the trophy to Sydney Captain Josh Kennedy after the match.

The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs