Geelong superstar Tom Hawkins spoke to Channel Seven after the game…
Q: I don’t say that it was regulation, because they were one of the teams you needed to get out of the way?
A: Absolutely. They played some really good footy. You would’ve seen that from your vantage point, but they were really competitive, they got their game going, they get fast flow on the game, started to shift and move the ball around a bit more in the second quarter which really challenged us to bit. Look, it was a really pleasing result. We’ve come up in the last couple of weeks, we have Gold Coast this coming weekend, sides that are playing for their lives. They’re really hard to win, but really happy with how we performed.
Q: Tom, without Joel Selwood and Paddy Dangerfield on the ground tonight, is there anything that you did differently in terms of a leadership role, or who steps up when those guys aren’t there?
A: For me, not really. I mean, particularly in our forward half last week, we were quite poor in being able to create contests. So for me, and that’s the hallmark of my game, when I’m playing well, I’m playing the game in a contest. And competing so trying to control what I can control out there is almost, you know, the best way personally for me to lead. So, yeah, we were missing some key personnel, but we certainly made up for their absence in areas, and we were happy with the result.
Q: What was the message at half-time? What did you hone in on? Because after the second quarter where we thought the Saints were right back in it, you guys really just stamped your foot?
A: We just went back to talking about what we do when we are playing well. And that’s being fierce in a contest. We played the game too much in their half. Weren’t able to get entries inside our forward 50 and put them under pressure so we wanted to be strong around the footy, get the ball going, keep it in and contain the ball when we could, and not let it get out on the outside where St Kilda are so good. So I thought we were a lot better, yeah. We were a lot better in the third.
Q: Just the culture of what you guys do as a group… you kick a goal but those around you are all happy for you. Everyone’s happy for everyone else, having achieved something, whether it’s a shepherd or whatever it is. And it’s full of smile and fun.
A: Yeah, I’m glad you picked that up, ’cause that’s certainly the way it felt out there. We had numerous passages particularly in the forward third of the ground where we talked about the energy, Isaac Smith anointed himself the sprinkler at some point in the third quarter. He just kept on popping up but even went in the goal square. I’m glad you picked up on that.
Q: It was obvious.
A: We provide energy particularly in the forward half, we have a lot of guys that are really dangerous when the ball’s in their area and when it’s not they create space and move and make it really hard for defenses. So, yeah, it’s probably been a bit of a hallmark of our game in the last couple of years.
Q: Luke Dahlhaus comes in gets a late call-up. I did a really good job. But it shows how tight spots are, and players know that when they get an opportunity, they’ve got to come in and play to the level that the team’s been playing at.
A: ‘Dal’ was great. He’s very much an energy provider, fierce around the ball, wins it, gets it going forward. He’s a great person amongst our group. So it was really pleasing, although unfortunate that ‘Danger’ couldn’t play but I love when guys are…we were joking in the changerooms about 45 minutes before the game, about our game preparation, and there’s ‘Dal’ lacing up the boots about 20 minutes later and he was playing. It was great for him to have an impact.