Essendon Bombers dominate the hapless Hawthorn Hawks

Based on the available evidence in just one game, any team vying for the last eight and playing Hawthorn twice has won the lottery.

It wasn’t just because they were outclassed by an Essendon team who themselves have acknowledged they have a long way to go to return to former glory, it was also because the Hawks were left with no way past quarter-time , to attack.

With Mitch Lewis out injured, they turned to Jacob Koschitzke as their cover target, but abandoned him midway through the third quarter when he managed just four touches.

Chad Wingard was struggling before he got injured and Luke Breust, who has scored three goals, is unable to make an attack. Blake Hardwick scored twice when he switched forwards in the last quarter.

But the forward line wasn’t Hawthorn’s only problem. Startled, their defense sat back and looked for switch kicks instead of getting ahead of the ball to launch counterattacks.


Hawthorn will fight all season.

In contrast, Essendon should be happy with their start, having arrived in the game and faced their own questions about who could score their goals. Unfortunately, with Peter Wright injured on the eve of the season, recruit Sam Weideman got his chance from within 50 yards.

He showed promise in the first half with two goals, the ball coming in with monotonous regularity as the Hawks’ tackle pressure eased. Mason Redman, Darcy Parish and Will Setterfield shared the ball before searching for either Weideman or the mobile Harrison Jones.

Bombers Ruckman Sam Draper sneaks in a goal from a tight angle in the third quarter.

Bombers Ruckman Sam Draper sneaks in a goal from a tight angle in the third quarter.Credit:AFL photos

Sam Draper also caused concern among the opposition when he went forward, while Archie Perkins and Alwyn Davey junior sniffed the ground on their debut as the Bombers finished with 13 goals scorers.

Davey junior provided a highlight before half-time when he scored his first goal, while Jordan Ridley joined what had become a party midway through the third quarter when he scored his first goal in his 69th game. The Bombers scored nine unanswered goals that patch.

McDonald Tipungwuti plays footy

When Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti ran down to replace Harrison Jones six and a half minutes into the last quarter, cheers echoed through the floor as Bombers fans welcomed their prolific hero back to his first senior game in 588 days. A brief “tippa” chant rang out before skipper Zach Merrett found the 29-year-old in space just four minutes later. He stepped out long and straight, raised his arms and smiled broadly. A minute later he scored a nice mark but unfortunately missed the shot.

A bright spot for Hawthorn

Cam Mackenzie joined the Hawks via pick six in the National Draft as the club attempts to climb a steeper hill than most other clubs have attempted. The good news is that the club’s recruiters seem to have made the right choice. He showed composure early on in midfield and was instrumental in giving the Hawks a solid start to the game.

Hawthorn: 4.5 5.7 5.9 9.11 (65)
Eat: 3.1 7.3 14.8 19.10 (124)

GOALS – Hawthorn: Breust3, Hardwick2, Wingard, Amon, Greene, Jiath.
Essendon: Perkins 3, Weideman 2, Draper 2, Redman 2, Menzie 2, Davey, Setterfield, Jones, Caldwell, Ridley, Heppell, Durham.

BEST – Hawthorn: Breust, Worpel, Hardwick, Sicily.
Essendon: Redman, Parish, Merrett, Setterfield, Perkins, Zerk Thatcher. Essendon Bombers dominate the hapless Hawthorn Hawks

Ryan Sederquist

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