Hawthorn picked apart Richmond by 32 last night at the MCG.
The Hawks were at their brilliant best as they stopped Richmond’s fast, aggressive run and carry through the centre of the ground.
Hawthorn bounced back after a lacklustre second half last week against Geelong at GMHBA stadium. The Hawks rebounded, leading the Tigers at quarter time by 32 points. Hawthorn had the running and never let Richmond rebound off the halfback flank that was pivotal to them winning the 2019 premiership.
The Richmond defence was solid with Dylan Grimes and Bachar Houli playing close to their best but lacking that that link-up style of play. Hawthorn’s older veterans were what held the team together, moving forward and keeping pressure in and around the contest.
Isaac Smith was tough early, kicking one goal and having 29 touches.
Jaeger O’Meara’s return from injury saw him pick up where he left off, with 23 disposals and one goal.
He was able to pick apart the Richmond midfield in the absence of star Dustin Martin.
Richmond had a chance to make a contest of the game early in the fourth quarter but missed too many set shots in easy positions that would have seen them get within touching distance. Tom Lynch’s miss directly in front, about 15 metres out summed up Richmond’s night.
The Tigers were outclassed by Hawthorn’s pressure and ability to hold up the Tigers play around the ball. Hawthorn’s ability to spread the ball and use the corridor to rebound possession was what Richmond didn’t counter enough to see them get the result.
A new-and-improved Hawthorn was on show yesterday compared to the team that was overrun by the cats in Round 2. Alastair Clarkson’s men showed the rest of the competition that they are still a team to worry about.
A lot of criticism was placed on the ageing list of the Hawks but they delivered. Hawthorn inflicted the first loss for Richmond since June 13, 2019.