Hawthorn and Sydney compiled dominant Saturday Round 7 AFL wins while Melbourne gave Demons fans something to cheer about when they picked up a surprise victory in a thriller against the Crows in Adelaide.
The Hawks kicked of Saturday’s AFL action with a convincing 27.13 (175) to 4.6 (30) thrashing of St Kilda at a rain-drenched MCG.
Unfortunately for last year’s premiers, the 145-point win looks to have come at a major cost as both Sam Mitchell and Brian Lake went down with injuries.
Mitchell’s hamstring was bad enough that he had to be subbed out of the match at quarter-time while Lake suffered a potentially serious calf injury. Coach Alastair Clarkson needed until just the post-match press conference to rule out Mitchell for next Friday night’s blockbuster against the Swans.
Burgoyne, Roughead, Gibson were among the Hawks’ best while Ryan Schoenmakers returned for his first AFL game since rupturing an anterior cruciate ligament against Fremantle in round four last year, kicking an impressive four goals as a rejuvenated forward.
The story for the Swans was a similar one, running over the top of Brisbane 18.15 (123) to 6.8 (44) in Adam Goodes’ return game.
After Brisbane cut the margin to just nine points in the second quarter, but that only kicked Sydney into gear as the Swans poured in four unanswered goals to lead by 33 at the half at 79 at the final siren.
Without bigs Lance Franklin and Kurt Tippett up forward, Goodes (three goals) and the Sydney midfield helped carry the load to kick a combined six goals from the partnership of Kieren Jack, Josh Kennedy and Luke Parker.
The win propelled the Swans into the AFL top eight for the first time this season and the club will be after a fourth straight win when they face the Hawks on Friday.
Melbourne collected a second win of the year with a rousing 11.4 (70) to 9.13 (67) over the Adelaide.
Veterans Chris Dawes (three goals) and Bernie Vince (26 disposals) combined with youngsters Jack Viney (23 possessions), Dom Tyson (29) and Jay Kennedy-Harris (25) to help overcome a comeback which saw the Crows come within four points midway through the fourth quarter. Mark Jamar and Tyson sealed the win in the dying stages.
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