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HAWTHORN WINS THE 2014 AFL GRAND FINAL, AND THE AUSTRALIAN WOMEN’S BASKETBALL TEAM TAKEOUT THE BRONZE MEDAL IN THE 2014 FIBA WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS ©

By Hesham Ayad
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What a Grand Final it was that had most professional commentators look amateurish in their predictions on how the Grand Final would play out before the first bounce and whom would be victors after the last siren. Expectations of the game being close between Hawthorn and Sydney were blown out of the water by half time with Hawthorn in the lead by 42 points and Sydney could not come back from that deficient. In front of a crowd of 99,454 Hawthorn was able to demonstrate their tenacity and skills to overrun Sydney and get their revenge for their Grand Final loss to Sydney in 2012 and take out the 2014 Grand Final winning by 63 points 21.11.137 - 11.8.74. Hawthorn has now won back to back premierships for the second time; the last time Hawthorn won back to back premierships was the 88 and 89 Grand Finals. This gives Hawthorn 12 premierships to date since its first season in the VFL/AFL of 1925 and Sydney as runners up only have 5 premierships since Sydney’s first season in the VFL/AFL of 1897; who at the time and through to the early 1980s were called the South Melbourne Bloods.


HAWTHORN WINS THE 2014 AFL GRAND FINAL, AND THE AUSTRALIAN WOMEN’S BASKETBALL TEAM TAKEOUT THE BRONZE MEDAL IN THE 2014 FIBA WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS ©


The well known players for both teams are forwards Adam Goodes with Lance Franklin for Sydney and forwards Jarryd Roughead with Will Langford for Hawthorn who between the four of them scored 14 goals or nearly half of the total of 32 goals scored by both clubs. At the end of the day it was the spread of goal scorers for Hawthorn that won them the Grand Final. Hawthorn had ten goal scorers while Sydney had six goal scorers which illustrates that Hawthorn had more firing power to provide more avenues in winning the game. If Hawthorn can keep most of their premiership players whose average age is 24 years and an average experience of 74 games; then winning another Grand Final in 2015 is in the cards. This leads us to segue into a different sport but the winning edge is the same and I’m talking about our Australian Women’s Basketball Team (Opals), taking out third place and the bronze medal in the Women’s 2014 FIBA World Basketball Championships. Both the FIBA World Championship of Basketball for women and the FIBA World Cup Basketball for men were played in the same year and both the Australian women and men’s teams played this year but with different results.

The Australian men’s basketball team reached only the second phase of the competition and has had some controversies while the Opals who suffered a 12-point loss to the top-ranked United States in the semi-finals reached the final phases of the competition taking out the bronze medal beating Turkey by 30pts. Our Australian women performed delightfully with the skills and the determination that makes all Australians and lovers of Basketball be proud of them. Over the years the Opals have done well in the world championships taking bronze in 1998, 2002 and winning gold in 2006, and in the Olympics medalled at the past five with three silver and two bronze medals. So their credentials show that the Opals have what it takes to be part of the best and sustain that for many years and this is very commendable. With players such as Captain Penny Taylor and fellow Phoenix player Erin Phillips who both play in the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) in the United States paved the way for the win over Turkey. Also, France-based forward Marianna Tolo who had a game-high 21 points and reserve forward Cayla Francis was a creator of chances in the crucial first half scoring nine of her 11 points, while reserve centre Natalie Burton was also strong with her rebounding. Point guards Erin Phillips and Leilani Mitchell also did their part and kept the Opals’ offence going.

Other promising signs for the Opals future was the positive impact of rookies Rebecca Allen and Tessa Lavey both influencing the game. The head coach of the Opals Brendan Joyce originally from Melbourne and a former professional basketball player who also coached the Wollongong Hawks and the Gold Coast Blaze clubs, envisage that Australia could turn the passionate Istanbul crowd against the home side to take bronze and that proved visionary as the Opals stormed out to a 17-0 start keeping Turkey scoreless for eight minutes of the first term to lead 17-4 at quarter time and crushing Turkey at the end. This shows that with the guidance of the head coach, leadership of the captain and the skill and strength of the rest of the team the Opals have a great future ahead of them for many years if not decades.
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Fitness
This year was Hawthorn that won the grand final, Let's see who will win the next years grand final.
  • October 30, 2014
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Hesham Ayad
Thanks, hope will be Geelong, but I know who is very happy about Hawthorn winning, but I will keep that as a secret.
  • October 30, 2014
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