AFL finals: brotherly love takes back seat to team rivalry in Hawthorn Hawks’ win over Fremantle Dockers

Oh brother: Stephen and Bradley Hill do battle in the AFL preliminary final. Picture: Channel 7
Oh brother: Stephen and Bradley Hill do battle in the AFL preliminary final. Picture: Channel 7

IT was a memorable AFL finals image of two proud Quinns and West Perth products.

Fremantle’s Stephen Hill and younger brother Bradley, of Hawthorn, attempting to psych each other out as they lined up as opposing wingmen at the opening bounce of last Friday’s preliminary final.

The younger sibling niggled at his older brother who gave him the kind of “you’ve got nothing” look only an older brother could give.

Unfortunately for the slick Dockers ball user, the young Hawks star won the argument with Hawthorn defeating the hosts by 27 points at Subiaco Oval.

It marked the second time in three seasons Stephen (25) had to watch his 22-year-old brother enjoy September success at his side’s expense, the first being the 2013 grand final.

Bradley gave a mischievous half laugh when the Weekender mentioned that preliminary final moment this week.

“He was getting into me a little bit to try and put me off my game,” he said. “I’m not going to let him be the big brother and push me around.”

As all Dockers players were, Stephen was noticeably dejected after the loss.

Bradley said the pair caught up after the game as he made his way to the team bus and Stephen was getting into his car. “I had little chat with him; he was obviously a little bit emotional about the loss,” he said.

“He was pretty flat after the game and I felt a bit sorry for him, but at the end of the day I’d rather win than lose.”

Bradley felt the hostile Perth crowd that night was just as loud as the supporters he had played before in preliminary finals at the MCG.

“Every preliminary we’ve played in the last few years have been close games,” he said.

“Even playing at the MCG where there’d be another 40,000 people, the Perth crowd was just as loud.”