The AFL season has returned in 2020, the reigning premiers however are an entirely different story.
For the second straight week Richmond was comprehensively dismantled in an opening quarter that saw them rewrite the club’s record books.
Kayo is your ticket to the 2020 Toyota AFL Premiership Season. Watch every match of every round Live & On-Demand. New to Kayo? Get your 14-day free trial & start streaming instantly >
Not since 1961 have Richmond gone consecutive weeks without registering a goal in the opening quarter of footy as Hawthorn ran riot by dropping five unanswered goals.
After being humiliated last week in the second half against Geelong, Hawthorn rebounded in emphatic style to claim its second win of the season 11.5 (71) to 5.9 (39).
The demolition job continued after quarter time as Hawthorn simply did as they pleased against a toothless Tigers outfit which was missing superstar Dustin Martin.
“This is one of the hardest running efforts I’ve seen from a footy club for a long time. They’re just absolutely flying at the moment,” Gerard Healy said on 3AW about the Hawks.
“All credit to the Hawks, they were poor last week and have come out tonight and set the standard,” Terry Wallace said on AFL Nation.
The Tigers took control of the final term and peppered the ball towards goal, leading the inside 50 count 17-2, but could only kick two goals to Hawthorn’s one.
Richmond’s two scores since the game returned sit in stark contrast to their first round outing when they scored 44 points in the opening term against Carlton to open the season. A higher total than their past two games.
Jaeger O’Meara returned to the Hawks line-up and showed off his immense class throughout the contest, ending with 23 disposals as the Hawks midfield fired up following last week’s shellacking.
Coach Alastair Clarkson put the heat on his midfielders to lift and they responded brilliantly with Isaac Smith (29) and Tom Mitchell (23) doing a power of work all over the ground.
The Tigers face a tough test next weekend when they go up against a rejuvenated St Kilda outfit under the roof at Marvel Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
Hawthorn will look to show the dismantling of the Tigers wasn’t a one-off against North Melbourne next Sunday night to close out round four.