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Rounds Of Our Lives: The greatest moments from Round 18


Hawthorn champion Leigh Matthews collects a point post in a hectic final term at Windy Hill in 1982, the post coming off second-best. Picture: CHANNEL 7

Rounds Of Our Lives: The greatest moments from Round 18

Luke Michael    

If you need a break from the constant speculation and analysis accompanying the 2018 AFL season, take a step back and enjoy some of the greatest moments from round 18 in years gone by.

This round has seen some of footy’s most bizarre moments, from Leigh Matthews breaking a point post, to Dermott Brereton planting a kiss on Billy Duckworth.

Because, like a pig running onto the SCG or a high-flying mark from Andrew Walker, so are the Rounds of our Lives.

HAWTHORN 15.10 (100) d ESSENDON 12.10 (82) (Windy Hill, Round 18 1982)

Leigh Matthews lived up to his nickname of “Lethal” in this clash at Windy Hill, famously breaking a behind post and willing Hawthorn to an impressive come-from-behind victory over arch-rival Essendon.

Hawthorn and the Bombers entered round 18 sitting third and fourth on the ladder respectively, both with 12-5 records.

The Hawks started strongly, leading by 21 points at quarter-time, but the Bombers hit back kicking 10 goals to three over the next two quarters.

At three-quarter time, the Hawks found themselves in dire trouble, trailing Essendon by 19 points.

After Michael Tuck initiated a Hawthorn resurgence by kicking the first goal of the final term, Matthews took control of the game.

Using his trademark strength, Matthews broke tackles and danced around his opponents in the forward line to slot two spectacular running goals in a row and reclaim ascendency for his team.

But Matthews’ most memorable act would not be a classy goal or a match-saving mark. Rather, it was his effort breaking a behind post which remains one of the most iconic moments of his career.

The incident occurred as Matthews ran backwards towards goal and collided with the post (while also stepping on the foot of a boundary umpire), causing a piece about one metre long to break off the top.

Commentator Lou Richards christened the Hawks skipper a “He-Man” in the immediate aftermath, and it only added to the Matthews’ reputation as one of the league’s most fearsome players.

In the end, Matthews inspired an 18-point Hawthorn victory, aided by impressive displays by Terry Wallace, Chris Mew and Rodney Eade.

As for the famous behind post, it was later sold to fellow footy legend Ron Barassi.

HAWTHORN 12.16 (88) d ESSENDON 9.8 (62) (Waverley, Round 18 1988)
Dermott Brereton caused havoc during a spiteful Waverley clash between Hawthorn and Essendon in 1988. After wrestling with Essendon’s Billy Duckworth late in the third quarter, Brereton decided to give him a playful kiss while Jason Dunstall was lining up for goal. Then, as Dunstall shaped to kick after the siren, umpire Ian Clayton paid a free against Brereton, costing Dunstall the shot, and firing up the Hawks’ forward. Brereton took out his pent-up frustration by running straight through the Essendon three-quarter time huddle. The aggressive ploy seemed to work, as the Hawks turned a four-point lead at the final break into a 26-point win.

ST KILDA 24.11 (155) d SYDNEY 17.16 (118) (SCG, Round 18 1993)
In one of footy’s most bizarre moments, a pig was released onto the SCG during a Sydney-St Kilda match in round 18, 1993. In a move designed to taunt Saints’ star forward Tony Lockett, a pig with the word “PLUGA” and the number four painted on it was set free on the ground, leading commentator Sandy Roberts to exclaim: “There’s a pig at full-forward!” It was on the ground about three minutes before Sydney player Darren Holmes tackled and captured the pig in the forward-pocket. Lockett was not even playing in the match due to injury, and the tactic did little to deter the Saints, who ran out comfortable 37-point winners.

RICHMOND 12.14 (86) d MELBOURNE 12.10 (82) (MCG, Round 18 2009)
In a match remembered as much for subsequent tanking allegations as it was its dramatic finish, Richmond defeated Melbourne in round 18, 2009, thanks to some post-siren heroics from Jordan McMahon. In an ugly affair at the MCG, Richmond’s 11-point lead during time-on of the last quarter was eroded due to two late Melbourne goals. With Richmond trailing by two points, McMahon marked right on the siren and kicked truly from 45 metres out to secure victory. The cellar-dwelling Demons made some highly questionable tactical moves during the game and the match later became a key part of the AFL’s tanking investigation into the club. In the end the Tigers had the last laugh though, securing superstar Dustin Martin with pick three in the draft, while the Demons selected Tom Scully and Jack Trengove with picks one and two.

CARLTON 24.9 (153) d ESSENDON 12.7 (79) (MCG, Round 18 2011)
It was the mark of the year that wasn’t. Andrew Walker’s spectacular mark in 2011 against Essendon is considered by many to be one of the greatest marks of all time, despite not even being judged the best mark of that year. Walker didn’t even need to use his hands as he leaped onto the back of 198-centimetre Essendon defender Jake Carlisle, sitting on his shoulders before rising high enough to take the mark at chest height. Carlton and Essendon fans alike rose out of their seats to acknowledge the spectacular mark, and both senior coaches lauded the mark as one of the greatest they had ever seen. Despite this, Walker controversially failed to win the 2011 Mark of the Year award, with Collingwood forward Andrew Krakouer chosen instead to win the award and the $10,000 prizemoney.

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