Two minutes into the second quarter of Hawthorn’s match against Sydney, a ripple of claps turned into stadium-wide applause.
Nanjing Night Net

Despite Hawks’ officials insisting that Jarryd Roughead did not want any fuss made over him, it seemed inevitable that fans at the MCG would go ahead with their tribute to the favourite son who this week discovered his cancer had returned.

Many fans from both clubs stood up to show their support, at a time chosen to reference the number two Roughead wears on his jumper.

Club president Richard Garvey said before the match Hawthorn was focussed on giving Roughead and his family love and support in the wake of his diagnosis.

Garvey said it had been a difficult week for the “Hawthorn family,” who had been shocked and saddened by the news.

But he said one positive was that doctors had diagnosed the disease early and the footballer was getting the best possible care.

“As a club we are united in our support of Roughy,” Garvey said. “Our focus is firmly on wrapping our arms around him and his family.” Garvey said the week’s events had served as a reminder that football was not all-important, and that no one should take their health for granted.It was a touching moment as the crowd showed their support for Jarryd Roughead. #AFLHawksSwanshttps://t.co/2AnPjg8sej— AFL (@AFL) May 20, 2016

Roughead had felt the love of the AFL community this week, he said. “The love and support that has been shown to Jarryd this week has been overwhelming,” Garvey said.

“As we sit down to enjoy the footy tonight, let’s take a moment to appreciate those around us, be it our spouses, our partners, our children, our families and our friends, and take stock of what matters most in life.”Proof footy backs you no matter which club you play for @[email protected]#AFLHawksSwanspic.twitter南京夜网/0VDqFzvSTO— AFL on 7 (@7AFL) May 20, 2016

Hawthorn midfielder Isaac Smith said Roughead had been with the team before the match as usual.

“He’s in good spirits and he wants to be involved,” he said.

“I don’t think he wants to talk about it too much, he just wants everyone to move on with it and he’s going to give it a fair crack.”

It was not until late in that second quarter that the Hawks scored their first goal, but Smith denied the team had felt flat before the match.

“I think we were up by contested possessions 20 minutes into the game, I don’t think we were flat at all, I just don’t think we got the connection going forward,” he said.

“Credit to Sydney, they played really well, we just couldn’t get the score on the board.”

Sydney are a team with deep connections to Roughead – several of their key players once wore the brown and gold.

Swans coach John Longmire said Lance “Buddy” Franklin and assistant coach Stuart Dew had visited Roughead on Thursday.

Josh Kennedy and Ben McGlynn also knew him from their time at the rival club and Longmire said the team had spoken about the matter in small groups prior to the match.

“In the general sense Jarryd is one of the most respected players in the AFL. Even blokes that don’t know him that well but have played some big games against him really felt for him,” he said.

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