Hawks’ star Franklin feasts on woeful Roos
Superstar Lance Franklin has declared the mojo is back after producing one of the great performances by an AFL forward with a career-best 13 goals in Hawthorn’s record 115-point thrashing of North Melbourne.
That might have been an understatement but the Hawks’ champion emphatically reversed some indifferent goalkicking form in a record 27.12 (174) to 9.5 (59) victory at Aurora Stadium in Launceston.
Franklin had kicked 21.36 heading into the match, including 1.3 in last round’s shock loss to Richmond.
“The confidence was up today – it was good to actually convert,” Franklin said.
“The last couple of weeks have been disappointing for myself, and for the footy club, to not be kicking the goals.
“Today, it came off.”
Big Buddy bettered nine-goal hauls against Essendon in 2007 and 2008 with 13.4, while the Hawks’ 115-point thrashing bettered 95-point victories over North in 1971 and 1988.
Hawthorn coach Alistair Clarkson tried to play down Franklin’s numbers but opposite number Brad Scott had no doubt he’d witnessed something special, as well as painful.
“It was one of the best individual displays I’ve seen in my time in footy,” the Kangaroos coach said.
“We haven’t seen a goal-kicking effort like that since the glory days of the full forwards, the Dunstalls, Abletts, Locketts.”
Clarkson was more pleased with a team effort that has the Hawks well and truly into the groove they’d only found spasmodically this season.
“It’s not about Lance – it’s about our team,” he said.
“Bud got on the end of the ball today which was terrific but we were able to break the Kangaroos side open because we just had workrate right across the ground.”
Four straight goals from Franklin in the first and second quarters turned the match on its head after North had started promisingly.
He had 10 by the end of the third quarter and kicked two in the final minutes to ensure the baker’s dozen.
“I obviously feel very proud to kick the goals but I can’t have got those without the midfielders getting the ball to me,” Franklin said.
The much-hyped battle of the part-time Tasmanians was more about two misfiring outfits looking for form – but only one of them did, and they did it spectacularly.
Hawthorn kicked nine unanswered majors in less than 20 minutes to turn a 25-13 deficit near the end of the first quarter into a 77-40 halftime lead.
They booted eight majors in the third quarter to North’s one and seven to two in the last.
“We had a point to prove,” Clarkson said. “We were dreadful last week.”© AAP 2013
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