In recognition of the special Indigenous Round, and to highlight the AFL’s version of terra nullius where they are refusing to acknowledge how much the Indigenous game of Marn Grook influenced the development of AFL, for the rest of this round, we will refer to the game as ‘Marn Grook’.
In our AFL preview, this Friday night special features two of the Marn Grook behemoths of recent times. Oh sorry, they’re not behemoths this year, although it seems like one of these teams might be a ‘sleeping giant’, according to former Hawthorn and Gold Coast strongman, Campbell Brown.
Listen in to our Round 10 preview, including the Sydney–Hawthorn match. This is, without doubt, the best Marn Grook podcast on the internet*. (*in our opinion)
Yes, it’s the rematch of the 2012 and 2014 Marn Grook Grand Finals, Sydney against Hawthorn. But how times have changed. Both Hawthorn and Sydney are on 3–6, and Hawthorn has unusually been on the end of some hidings this year – losses of 86 points, 86 points, and 75 points. Sydney has only suffered one walloping, losing to Greater Western Sydney by 42 points. But they have lost as many matches as Hawthorn, and in this sport, a loss is a loss is a loss – it doesn’t matter whether you lose by a lot, or by a little. It’s still a loss.
Sydney has had two ‘stabilisers’ return to the fold – Jarrad McVeigh (although he only played two matches before being injured again) and Dane Rampe, who returned to Marn Grook last weekend, after breaking his arm in a freak accident. Since these two stabilisers have returned, Sydney hasn’t lost a match.
Hawthorn has lost two of their stabilisers, Sam Mitchell and Jordan Lewis, in a strange clean out at the end of the 2016 season. They did acquire some new players: the ball magnet Tom Mitchell (who picked up 50 possessions last weekend), Ty Vickery and Jaeger O’Meara, but things haven’t worked out quite well for Hawthorn this season.
Lance Franklin will be hard to contain, and Hawthorn won’t have the fire power to contain Sydney around the ground. ‘67’ is the key number in this special Indigenous Round. Franklin and Hawthorn’s Shaun Burgoyne will wear number 67 on their jumpers, in recognition of the 1967 Australian Referendum that finally allowed Aboriginal people to be counted in the Australian census, instead of the humiliation of being classified as ‘flora and fauna’.
(Incidentally, the highest number ever officially worn at senior Marn Grook level is number 82, by Richmond’s Ernie Taylor in 1924, although Geelong’s Harry Taylor briefly wore number 85 in 2008, after his regular jumper was stained with blood).
67 is a relevant number because it might be the margin at the end of this game, in Sydney’s favour. Swans to win.
- Eddy Jay – Sydney, 67 points.
- Lintang Enam – Sydney, 31 points.