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8 years since a silky club debut

2008 Rewind: Round 15 v Sydney The Hawks break a six game losing streak against the Swans, with a 31 point victory at the MCG.
Shaun Burgoyne in action during the AFL Round 08 match between the Richmond Tigers and the Hawthorn Hawks at the MCG, Melbourne.
Shaun Burgoyne in action during the AFL Round 08 match between the Richmond Tigers and the Hawthorn Hawks at the MCG, Melbourne.

Reflecting on all the topical milestones and achievements, past and present, as we head into Round 8 of the 2018 season. This is 'Footy Flashbacks'....

Eight years ago, Round 8 2010 saw the debut of arguably the most significant player to come to Hawthorn from another AFL club. Shaun Burgoyne had missed the first seven games of the 2010 season due to injury, so his appearance in a helmet to take on Richmond at the MCG felt overdue.

Nobody would have thought that not only would Burgoyne end up playing more games at Hawthorn (currently 188) than he had for Port Adelaide (157), but that he would also set a new club record for the most games played for the Hawks by a player who had previously played elsewhere, passing the previous record of 184 held by Russell Greene.

Burgoyne’s arrival brought an immediate change of fortune for the Hawks who had begun the 2010 season with a disastrous 1-6 record. They beat Richmond by just three points, thanks to a desperate Sam Mitchell tackle in the dying stages of the game, but the victory was the catalyst for a run of seven consecutive wins and a Finals berth at the end of the season.

On the same day as Burgoyne made his Hawthorn debut, another recruit from a rival AFL club also made his debut in the brown and gold. Who was it? The answer is at the end of the column.

Read: Mentor Burgoyne 'magnificent'


Friday night’s encounter with Sydney will be Hawthorn's 350th game at the MCG. 

In the club's 349 games played at the MCG to date, the Hawks have won 202, lost 146 and drawn once, which was against North Melbourne in 1985. The positive record is all-the-more creditable as Hawthorn lost its first ten matches at the MCG, and having finally tasted success in 1938, proceeded to lose another six before recording a second victory in 1952. 


Hawthorn did not play Sydney at the MCG until 2001, but the clubs have made up for lost time with Friday night being their 19th meeting at the venue. In the 18 matches to date, Hawthorn has won 11 and lost 7, made up of a 3-1 advantage in finals and an 8-6 record in home games. 

Hawthorn has built a decent highlights reel against the Swans at the MCG, headlined by the 2014 Grand Final success and victories in the 2011 Semi Final and 2013 Qualifying Final. Several of the home wins have been thrillers, including victories by two points in 2010 and six points last season. 

Overall, the Hawks and Swans have met 164 times, with Hawthorn winning 92, losing 70 and drawing two. The two clubs have met 12 times in the past five seasons, with Hawthorn holding a 9-3 advantage, including a current sequence of three consecutive wins by six points or fewer. Hawks longest ever winning run against the Swans was 13 (1971-77), followed by 11 (1981-86).


One feature of Hawthorn’s MCG home games against the Swans has been the increase in the size of the attendances. The first five from 2001 to 2006 all drew crowds of under 35,000; the past five from 2013 to 2017 have all had crowds of over 50,000, including a massive 72,768 in 2014. 


Hawthorn has won nine of its last 11 matches in Round 8, but slightly ominously the only defeats were both against Sydney, at Stadium Australia in 2014 and the MCG in 2015. A pair of victories in Launceston against Fremantle (2016) and Brisbane Lions (2017) has put Hawthorn’s Round 8 record into positive territory with 47 wins and 45 defeats (with a bye in 1992).

10 years ago, in Round 8 2008, Hawthorn won a high-scoring game Launceston against Port Adelaide by 15 points – 17.15.117 to 15.12.102. A Hawthorn victory looked unlikely when the Power led by 37 points at the eight-minute mark of the second quarter, but a four-goal burst late in the third term had the Hawks in front by the final change, Brad Sewell got 3 Brownlow votes for a game in which he had 34 disposals, Chance Bateman received 2 votes and Lance Franklin got one vote for his 6-goal effort. 

30 years ago, in Round 8 1988, Hawthorn recorded a maiden win at Subiaco Oval, defeating West Coast by 53 points – 17.14.116 to 9.9.63 – making up a little for the one-point defeat on the Hawks’ first visit to the venue the previous season. The game was over as a contest by quarter time, with Hawthorn having established a 45-point lead, which increased to 57 by the half and 69 at the final change. Jason Dunstall (7), Dermott Brereton (4) and Gary Buckenara (3) were all amongst the goals.

40 years ago, in Round 8 1978, Hawthorn comfortably accounted for Richmond at Waverley, with a 14.15.99 to 9.16.70 win. Leigh Matthews and Michael Moncrieff both contributed four goals, while the ever-consistent Michael Tuck won plenty of the ball in the middle of the ground.


Peter Hudson holds the Hawthorn records both for most goals against the Swans and for Round 8, having kicked 13 goals against South Melbourne at Glenferrie in Round 8 1970. He had already kicked another bag of 13 against the Swans in the previous season.

The answer to the question about the player who made his Hawthorn debut in the same game as Shaun Burgoyne is Wayde Skipper. The former Bulldog played 15 of the last 16 games of the 2010 season, providing very useful support to the club’s depleted ruck stocks. 

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