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Tom kicks a goal
4 for Hawkins in his 350th gm (File photo)

Overcast but warm conditions at the MCG greeted the teams after an earlier brief thunderstorm. Geelong produced the first goal of the day through Tyson Stengle deep in the forward pocket marked and goaled early. Cameron Mackenzie kicked the Hawks first for the match from 25 meters out straight in front receiving a quick handball and scrambling a kick over oncoming defenders.

In his 350th game, Tom Hawkins lead deep into the pocket marked, and in what is considered the wrong side for a right footer, calmly kicked the drop punt goal straight through the middle. Close received a free kick 30 meters out from goal (after being taken to the cleaners while disposing of the ball, and he snapped the goal around the body for the Cat's second. Hawkins repeated the earlier lead and mark, but his second shot from the pocket hit the post. Sicily took on Ollie Henry but couldn't get past the fierce tackling. Henry's next kick from that same pocket followed as Hawkins saw the Cats kick their third goal for the quarter. The Cats would make all the right moves and Cameron, Henry, and Hawkins, all helped themselves to goals against a meager resistance and took a 36 point lead to quarter time.

The Hawks did have an improved showing in the second term. Macdonald kicked the first for the quarter, but the Cats quickly hit back with a second goal to Cameron. McKenzie and then Chol benefited by improved midfield movement by the Hawks, and it looked like we might have a contest after all. Hawthorn fans were finally on their feet when Mitch Lewis flew high to mark and goal at the top of the goal square. Another goal to Chol roving the back of the pack and it was back to an 11 point lead to the Cats at halftime.

It was the Hawks who got out of the box quickest in the third term when the Hawks again went long to the top of the goal square for a Chol mark and goal, but the Cats responded and just moved to another gear. Toby Conway went first for the Cats at the city end and then Stengle and Henry both slotted home goals. When Hawkins kicked their fourth in a row, there would have been plenty of Hawthorn fans worried this was going to be a repeat of the smashing the Cats put on them in the second half in the Easter Monday game in 2023. This year at least there was resistance, with Worpel running into the forward 50, and kicking long for a goal. On review, it just cleared the Geelong defender's fingertips. The Cat's kept coming through, and goals from Duncan and Henry saw the Cats undo the Hawks good second term work, to again lead by 36 points.

Just as it looked like the last quarter would start, not so fast friends. The AFL decided that with the storm present since late in the third quarter, there was danger to the players with lightning near the ground, and the players went to the rooms for about 46 minutes before the ball would finally be bounced. Just as the teams warmed up to restart, the rain teemed down again. Play started anyway at 6:11 PM. The Hawks won the first clearance and Worpel went long to the square, where Ginnivan marked, and played on around the body to kick the goal.

Wet weather footy kicked in. An entertaining slog by both teams. It was the 13-minute mark when Watson finally kicked the next goal to bring the margin to 20 points. With Henry marking a long lead on the chest, he went back to goal from 25 meters out to keep the Hawks at bay. Geelong added another to the milestone man Hawkins, with Cameron marking at the top of the square and dishing off a quick handball to his fellow forward to boot it home from point blank range. If the nail wasn't already in the coffin Miers nailed it shut with his set shot goal from 40 meters out.

The 36 point lead carried through to the final margin. The Hawks will need to sort out their first quarter starts if they are to win some games this season. The Cats did all they needed to do today and sent off their 350 game hero Tom Hawkins with the win and go 3-0 for the season.

HAWTHORN: 1.1 6.3  8.4 10.10 (70)
GEELONG:  7.1 8.2 14.4 17.4 (106)

Hawthorn: Chol 3, Mackenzie 2, Worpel, Watson, Macdonald, Lewis, Ginnivan
Geelong:  O. Henry 4, Hawkins 4, Stengle 2, Cameron 2, Miers, Holmes, Duncan, Conway, Close

Hawthorn: Worpel, Nash, Chol, Meek, Newcombe
Geelong:  Duncan, O. Henry, Bruhn, Holmes, Stewart, Hawkins

Hawthorn: Morrison (replaced Hustwaite in the third quarter)
Geelong:  Bowes (replaced Atkins at three-quarter time)

Crowd: 67,020 at the MCG

Article last changed on Monday, April 01, 2024 - 4:44 PM EDT


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