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Hawks deliver Demons a reality check

Ben Guthrie  March 8, 2014 6:42 PM

Paul Roos: Post-match media conference Paul Roos speaks to the media following Melbourne's loss to Hawthorn at Casey Fields on Saturday afternoon

A SIX-GOAL haul from Hawk Jarryd Roughead has powered Hawthorn to a 110-point thrashing of Melbourne at Casey Fields on Saturday afternoon.

The Hawks taught the Demons a lesson in controlling possession and applying constant defensive pressure to cause turnovers, as they charged to a decisive 21.16 (142) to 4.8 (32) victory.

However, a hamstring injury to defender Ben Stratton and an incident featuring Jordan Lewis, likely to come under attention from the Match Review Panel, were the two worries out of the game.

Stratton came off in the third quarter after grabbing the back of his leg, and did not return, while Lewis collected Demons co-captain Nathan Jones at a centre bounce in the first quarter.

Stand-in Hawks coach Cameron Bruce said first indications were that Stratton's injury was not serious.

"It was just a little bit of (hamstring) soreness. I think the doctors will have more of an assessment as we head into the weekend," Bruce said.

Lewis appeared to make made a legitimate attempt to thump the ball to his team's advantage when he made contact with Jones, who was left dazed with a cut above his eye. 

The efficiency of the Hawks' forwards was the key difference in the game, as they kicked 10 goals to nil between the start of the second quarter and the 19-minute mark of the third term.

Reigning Coleman medallist Roughead stamped himself as a real contender to go back-to-back with a superb display up forward, which included 27 touches.

Usual defender Josh Gibson also booted successive goals – his first in Hawthorn colours – when moved to full forward in the fourth quarter.

Playing his first game of the pre-season, Grant Birchall (17 possessions) did not miss a beat as he builds towards round one, while star midfielder Sam Mitchell won 29 possessions on the ball.

The Hawks were virtually impassable in defence and rebounded with conviction, led by Matt Suckling and captain Luke Hodge.

There was not much to write home about for Melbourne as it played clearly its worst game of the pre-season campaign.

Lynden Dunn battled manfully in defence (18 disposals), while Bernie Vince (23) and Daniel Cross (19) tried hard in the midfield.

A heavy collision between Demons Jack Grimes and James Frawley late in the final term ended a disappointing afternoon for the Demons.

However, thankfully from the Demons point of view, both Frawley (ribs) and Grimes (cut head) appear to be fine.

Demons coach Paul Roos said the difference between the two sides was clear.

"The club's in much better shape, but it doesn't automatically transpire," Roos said after the game.

"You can't go from the first rung of the ladder to the tenth rung of the ladder, without having to go through steps two to 10.

"For us, we know where we're at. You saw the premiers play against a team that won two games last year, and that's the difference."

MELBOURNE   2.2  2.3  3.5  4.8 (32)

HAWTHORN   3.5  9.8  16.13  21.16 (142)


Melbourne: Howe 2, Byrnes, Spencer

Hawthorn: Roughead 6, Smith 2, Gibson 2, Langford 2, Breust, Shiels, Puopolo, McEvoy, Simpkin, Suckling, Hodge, Hill, Gunston 


Melbourne: Dunn, Vince, Cross, Howe, Spencer

Hawthorn: Roughead, Mitchell, Birchall, McEvoy, Gunston, Suckling, Wanganeen


Melbourne: Jones (eye), Grimes (cut head), Frawley (ribs)

Hawthorn: Stratton (hamstring soreness), O'Brien (sore)

Crowd: 9723 at Casey Fields