Hawks torch Tigers in the wet - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Hawks torch Tigers in the wet

Guy Hand 09/04/2011 10:07:18 PM Comments (0)

Hawthorn have taught Richmond a harsh lesson about the gap between promise and delivery with a 63-point AFL shellacking at the MCG.

For all the excitement Richmond's potential has generated in 2011, the Hawks are right here, right now as evidenced by their 17.13 (115) to 6.16 (52) win in teeming rain on Saturday night.

Hawthorn underlined again - particularly with a deft first-half effort - they might be the best hope of derailing Collingwood's tilt at back-to-back flags.

Forward Lance Franklin was unstoppable with five goals and skipper Luke Hodge was a midfield machine with 20 touches and two goals.

Any thoughts the dismal conditions may level the class gap between the Tigers and Hawks vanished within five minutes.

The Hawks had three unanswered goals by the time spectators had unwrapped their rain ponchos and built a 34-point quarter-time lead that never looked like being bridged.

For Hawthorn, especially in the first half, the rain was like glue. Every pass stuck.

For Richmond, the rain washed away their intensity and a skill level that remains precarious under pressure and several rungs below the best in the competition.

There was no better illustration of the developmental difference between the two clubs than Franklin - perhaps the game's elite forward - playing on second-gamer Dylan Grimes.

Franklin took Grimes to school with four goals to halftime.

Richmond trailed by 53 points at the long break, but came out in the third term determined to win the second half.

The resistance lasted 10 third-quarter minutes and one goal before the Hawks steadied and launched again in the final term.

Fittingly Franklin - who haunts Richmond as the player they could have drafted in 2004 instead of Richard Tambling - completed the blowout.

Playing the final term in midfield, he delivered out of the centre to Hodge for a goal, then followed with a stunning fifth of his own.

Hawthorn have several injury concerns from the match.

The biggest is defender Ben Stratton, stretchered from the ground in the third quarter with a knee injury.

Hawthorn also lost midfielder Sam Mitchell before the bounce.

Hawks coach Alastair Clarkson confirmed one of Mitchell's three children was ill, forcing his withdrawal.

Stratton was taken to hospital for scans on a dislocated kneecap, with Clarkson believing the defender faces a considerable amount of time on the sidelines.

"It's pretty graphic - I think he's dislocated a kneecap. But what ligament or tendon damage that's done to his knee we're uncertain," Clarkson said.

"I'd anticipate he's going to miss some time of footy but we're hoping it's not 12 months of footy. We're in the hands of the doctors."

Richmond coach Damien Hardwick felt his side's slow start had been costly, as well as the Tigers' inability to convert their forward forays into goals.

"The thing that comes with experience is the efficiency of your ball movement," Hardwick said.

"We've just got to get better a hell of a lot quicker."

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