Hawthorn Hawks continue to soar after dominating Cats

HAWTHORN picked up where it left off from last season with a dominating win over old rival Geelong at the MCG.

A crowd of 73,584 looked on yesterday as the Hawks won 17.21 (123) to 8.13 (61).

Luke Breust kicked five, while Jarryd Roughead and Paul Puopolo kicked three each as the Hawks sent an early message to the rest of the competition.

The Easter Monday clash looked like being a classic as the two sides went head to head in a first-quarter shootout, with the reigning premier behind 4.3 27 to 3.3 21 after the first period.

The Cats' kicking efficiency was at 81% at this stage, with the Hawks only at 62%.

But in the second quarter, veterans Sam Mitchell and Luke Hodge began to take control, while Jordan Lewis stamped his authority on the game as the Hawks raced out to a 60-31 half-time lead. Hawthorn won the clearances 12-5 in the second stanza to show its dominance and although the Cats won the centre clearances five to one, only two of those were converted into inside 50s as the Hawks turned the screw.

The game continued to swing Hawthorn's way in the second half with Breust and Roughead coming to the fore.

At the other end, Mitch Clark enjoyed a decent return to the AFL, kicking three goals on his debut for the Cats with his forward partner, Tom Hawkins, nabbing two.