The Hawks hammering of Carlton was more than a win, it was a celebration of Jarryd Roughead. Picture: Getty Images
The Hawks hammering of Carlton was more than a win, it was a celebration of Jarryd Roughead. Picture: Getty Images

Why every Roughead game feels like a gift

THIS is a celebration of Jarryd Roughead.

Look away now if you think it contains a strong opinion on his future or kicks him to death in search of a headline.

The scrutiny over ageing players and the will-he, won't-he about their futures is a legitimate part of the AFL industry.

Somehow it feels different with four-time premiership star Roughead.

 

Instead it feels like every chance he has to get out onto an AFL field is a gift.

A chance to further his Hall of Fame claims rather than stave off retirement for one more year.

Roughead has nothing to prove, but then again he did just that on Sunday, his 38th straight game since returning from having four cancerous spots removed from his lungs.

It wasn't quite the eye-catching Roughead who kicked five goals and crunched Dan Hannebery in the 2015 grand final.

Or slotted that miraculous game-winning goal against Sydney at the SCG last year.

Instead it was the wily, whip-smart Roughead who found a way to impact his side's win over a Carlton so bad early they barely deserve mention.

Jarryd Roughead simply outclassed young Blues defender Jacob Weitering. Picture: Michael Klein
Jarryd Roughead simply outclassed young Blues defender Jacob Weitering. Picture: Michael Klein

The Roughead who started forward yet worked up the ground to get involved in a trio of handball interchanges in the opening minutes.

Then pushed into the ruck, instantly won the ball in a flash and hit up Luke Breust for the easiest of goals.

Eleven minutes into this game, Roughead had five possessions and the Hawks were humming.

He might not be able to jump over a jam tin, but when has that ever been his strength?

What he can do is use that nous and football IQ to school players like No.1 pick Jacob Weitering, a decade his junior and supposedly an athletic freak.

As half time approached Roughead pushed close to goal, sensed his moment and darted away from Weitering with a perfectly-timed lead.

Teia Miles delivered the pass, Roughead hit it at full velocity, marked at 50m and went back and slotted his 555th AFL goal.

Don't look now, but over at St Kilda, Alan Richardson is currently looking for more senior leadership after the club nudged Nick Riewoldt out of the door.

It feels silly even defending him, when you get the feeling he is the last bloke to be too fussed about the media's gaze.

As he said this year as he admitted to nerve damage that last season saw him losing feeling in his feet, footy isn't close to everything.

"It's better than any Grand Final I've won," he said of twice overcoming melanoma battles.

"Footy is five-10 per cent of my life - this drug has given me 100 per cent."

The rest of the game?

Hand Tom Mitchell a certain three Brownlow votes after 46 possessions, nine tackles, nine marks and two goals.

The final one of those possessions pushed the Hawks above Geelong on the ladder by percentage, the latest of his Hawk masterclasses.

Tom Mitchell finished with 46 disposals. Picture: Michael Klein
Tom Mitchell finished with 46 disposals. Picture: Michael Klein

Blues president Mark LoGiudice said yesterday he watched Patrick Cripps, Charlie Curnow, Lachie O'Brien and Paddy Dow to assess the team's green shoots.

By half time they had just 25 possessions between them, the Blues amassing just a dozen inside-50s and a single goal.

Finally as the Hawks led 72-10 exactly 15 minutes into the third term, they awoke from their slumber.

Patrick Cripps broke free of a Daniel Howe tag, Matt Kennedy kept on bullocking in, Cameron Polson kicked a bizarre goal and the Blues restored some of their pride.

Four consecutive goals had Alastair Clarkson in apoplexy at three-quarter time as the Blues washed valuable percentage off his team's total.

Then a final term avalanche against a Blues' side down to two on the bench after Zac Fisher and Liam Jones suffered first-half leg injuries not only saw Roughead finish with 18 valuable possessions but the Hawks sneak into the eight at Geelong's expense.

Hawk Daniel Howe may face MRO scrutiny after an early blow to Cripps.

SCOREBOARD

CARLTON 0.0 1.2 5.7 7.10 (52)

HAWTHORN 4.3 8.7 11.13 18.16 (124)

GOALS

CARLTON: Cripps 2, C.Curnow, Wright, Polson, Simpson, Kennedy

HAWTHORN: Breust 5, Puopolo 4, Gunston 2, Schoenmakers 2, Mitchell 2, Roughead, Henderson, Miles

VOTES - JON RALPH

3. Tom Mitchell

2. Luke Breust

1. Patrick Cripps

Patrick Cripps stood up for the Blues, as usual. Picture: Michael Klein
Patrick Cripps stood up for the Blues, as usual. Picture: Michael Klein

BEST - JON RALPH

CARLTON: Cripps, Weitering, Kennedy, Murphy, Ed Curnow

HAWTHORN: Mitchell, Breust, Worpel, Puopolo, Henderson, Stratton, Henderson

INJURIES

CARLTON: Thomas (lacerated knee) replaced in selected side by Graham, Fisher (ankle), Jones (knee)

HAWTHORN: O'Meara (hip) replaced in selected side by O'Rourke

Reports: Nil

Umpires: Glouftsis, Chamberlain, Stephens

Official crowd: 30,405 at Etihad Stadium



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