By Troy Thompson reporting for AFANA, from Etihad Stadium in Melbourne.
Billy Hartung had an early chance to get a goal against his old club, opening the scoring for North Melbourne but could only manage a behind. By the end of the quarter he would be glad to be in his new colors. The opening goal of the match came from Jarrad Waite after two Hawks defenders collided in the air Frawley and Mirra, leaving Waite to clean up and drill it home.Then Ben Brown kicked the first of his three goals for the quarter.
The Hawks response came from Breust after a handball interception at half forward and a couple of handballs saw him running into goal. Ben Brown then added his second with a checkside kick from the boundary. Hawthorn’s only other score for the quarter came with a snapped goal from Gunston on his right around the body after Breust dished the ball out of the pack just inside 50.
Waite missing two goals from close range with pressure behind and no one in front could have seen the Kangaroos with an even bigger quarter time lead than they would eventually have. Jacobs was winning the contest around the ball keeping Tom Mitchell quiet in the first quarter, as he would do through the match. Mitchell just the five disposals for the quarter.
Ziebell added two goals and Brown one to put the Roos out to a big lead. And Zurhaar stretched it even further to 35 points when Scotty Thompson’s kick to the hot spot found him. The shot from 30m out after the siren to the delight of a vocal Kangaroos crowd. The Hawks pegged one back early in the second quarter when Impey scrubbed a kick through the big sticks while under heavy defensive pressure 15 meters out from goal. But it would be their last score for the half.
It was all North Melbourne’s way and Atley received a kick at the top of the goal square after Tom Mitchell gave away a free kick before the full back could kick in. He made no mistake. The Hawks evened up the contest around the ground but couldn’t get anything going up forward with Goldstein dropping back and Thompson, Tarrant and Williams dominating.
Brown and Hartung added one each for the Kangaroos, their defensive work in the forward line a highlight, preventing the Hawks from exiting their back line on numerous occasions. The timing was again good for the Roos with Waite taking another big mark in the pocket over Morrison and goaled as the siren sounded. A 47-point lead to North Melbourne at the major break.
It was a quiet start for Liam Shiels today after his best on ground performance against Melbourne last week, but he opened the second half with a snap around the body for a goal. Breust kicked Hawthorn’s first back to back goal for the day after being taken high and it was soon followed up by Shiels with his second after Impey ran around the man on the mark at 50 and dumped the ball in the hot spot.
Shaun Higgins hit the deck and did not move after Burton applied a heavy shepherd as the Hawks cleared the ball off half back. The game was stopped as he was checked and stretchered from the ground. Seconds after Higgins went down, Vickers-Willis also went down. He would come off and be assessed for concussion and take no further part in the game.
North momentarily resumed regularly schedule programming after the stoppage as Dumont sent a long high snap to the square and Frawley and Ben Brown wrestled on the line with the ball just slipping between them and point post for maximum points.
After another Jarrad Waite miss (his 5th for the day) the Hawks stormed back into the game. A long kick in from Sicily at full back to the center of the ground was tapped on to Isaac Smith and his long kick to the goal was allowed to bounce over the line by Gunston who ran back with the flight of the ball uncontested. Hawthorn backed up quickly with two goals to Luck Breust reducing the margin to 27 points at three quarter time and bringing the game back to life with the Hawks and outside chance to come back and win in the last quarter.
Hawthorn attacked early in the last but two early behinds was not going to be enough as the Kangaroos back six (and everyone else they could fit inside defensive 50) shut things down. It was Hartung that broke though and his short kick was picked off by Gunston who snapped truly for the Hawks.
The Roos were 22 points up but under pressure and needed a circuit breaker. It would be Zurhaar who attacked the ball inside 50 low down and was taken high across the shoulder by Stratton. He kicked the goal from 45 meters out straight in front and sealed the game for North Melbourne with five and a half minutes on the clock. Waite backed up with another goal for the Roos minutes later when they turned over an indecisive push forward by the Hawks and found the big man uncontested 25 meters out from goal.
Breust would kick a consolation goal for the Hawks in the last minute of the game after he was taken high in the tackle. That was his fifth for the match but too little too late for Hawthorn.
A big win for North Melbourne to take them to 3 wins and 2 losses for the season and third place on the ladder, the same record as the Hawks who could have been looking at top spot after a win. Serious injuries to Higgins and Vickers-Willis damping the victory just a little but it was a day out for the big North forwards despite Waite's inaccuracy.
North Melbourne 7.5 11.9 12.11 14.14 (98) Hawthorn 2.0 3.0 9.2 11.4 (70) GOALS North Melbourne: Brown 4, Waite 3, Ziebell 2, Zurhaar 2, Atley, Hartung, Dumont Hawthorn: Breust 5, Gunston 2, Shiels 2, Impey, Smith BEST North Melbourne: Tarrant, Cunnington, Jacobs, Ziebell, Brown, Dumont, Macmillan Hawthorn: Breust, Smith, Sicily, Henderson INJURIES North Melbourne: Higgins (concussion), Vickers-Willis (concussion) Hawthorn: Shiels (lower back) Reports: Cameron Zurhaar (North Melbourne) for rough conduct on David Mirra (Hawthorn) in the second quarter Umpires: Dalgleish, Stevic, Gianfagna
Official crowd: 27,981
Article last changed on Thursday, April 26, 2018 - 1:07 AM EDT