Collingwood key defender Jordan Roughead has announced his retirement, after 201 games for the Magpies and Western Bulldogs. An ongoing shoulder problem, as well…
Hawthorn are set to avoid being handed their first wooden spoon since 1965 after a comfortable 19-point win over fellow AFL cellar dwellers Collingwood.
Ball magnet Tom Mitchell (44 disposals) starred as the Hawks posted their second victory in as many matches since it was confirmed long-time coach Alastair Clarkson will step away from the club at the end of the season.
The 15.7 (97) to 12.6 (78) triumph at an empty MCG on Sunday came at a cost, with midfielder James Worpel substituted out of the match with a foot injury.
But the result saw the Hawks (6-1-13) leapfrog Collingwood and Adelaide into 15th spot, two wins clear of last-placed North Melbourne with a healthy percentage buffer.
“It was pleasing that we were able to put in another strong performance,” Clarkson said.
“We were pleased with the way that we started the game and got some scoreboard ascendancy and forced Collingwood to play a very aggressive ball movement manner in the second half.
“We were able to stem the tide and get away with the victory.
“All the young guys are still finding their way as AFL footballers… so every game that we play we want to compete and try to win, but every bit of exposure that they get is really important.”
Mitchell used the ball at 84 per cent efficiency, tallying eight clearances and a game-high 12 score involvements.
The 2018 Brownlow medallist capped off another fine display with an important goal during the final quarter.
Experienced teammates Chad Wingard (30 disposals) and Jaeger O’Meara (27) were also influential around the ball and strong-bodied Conor Nash continued his development in a new midfield role.
Jacob Koschitzke finished with three goals, with Dylan Moore and Daniel Howe adding two apiece.
Hawthorn led by 49 points during the third term and while Collingwood booted three of the final four goals to close the gap, they never got close enough to mount a serious challenge.
Third-gamer Jack Ginnivan booted three majors as the Pies’ leading goal kicker, with Jamie Elliott and Brody Mihocek (two each) also hitting the scoreboard, while Jordan de Goey (28 disposals and eight clearances) and Taylor Adams (30 and six) were busy in the midfield.
But Collingwood caretaker Robert Harvey lamented his side’s poor intent during the first half.
“We wanted to get on the end of a lot of stuff and not do the work,” Harvey said.
“They were able to defend us really well and also worked their way through too easily.
“We just didn’t have enough defensive intent and when we got that back in the second half we won the half, but we were playing catch-up from there.”