Dylan Moore celebrates a goal during Hawthorn's clash against North Melbourne in round three, 2023. Picture: AFL Photos

SAM MITCHELL got one over his old mentor Alastair Clarkson as Hawthorn recorded its first win of 2023 with a 19-point victory over the previously unbeaten North Melbourne in Launceston on Saturday.

In the first meeting between the two coaches, with Mitchell taking over at Hawthorn from Clarkson after 17 years at the helm at the end of 2021, the former guided his side to an 11.14 (80) to 9.7 (61) victory, following heavy losses to Essendon and Sydney to start the season.

HAWKS v KANGAROOS Full match coverage and stats

Hawks small forward Tyler Brockman, in his first game since round 23 2021, booted three goals including a crucial snap with just over six minutes left in the last term, before handballing to Dylan Moore for the sealer with 3:42 remaining.

Mitchell's side deployed an uncontested style (423-342 disposals, 288-208 uncontested possessions and 140-89 marks) where they dominated possession in the first half, opening up a 32-point lead before North rallied to get within a kick in the last, before Brockman's crucial intervention.


Last year's wooden spooner North had won its opening two games over West Coast and Fremantle but was brought back to earth, not helped by the late withdrawal of in-form midfielder Luke Davies-Uniacke due to calf tightness.

Will Day was cool under pressure with 28 disposals and four tackles, while James Sicily was Hawthorn's general in defence with 28 touches and a game-high 18 marks. Moore, who kicked the sealer, had 25 touches, seven inside 50s, two goals and two goal assists.

North started well with Paul Curtis kicking the opening goal inside the first two minutes, but Hawthorn soon took control, particularly off half-back, kicking the next three goals to lead by 13 points at the first change.


The Kangaroos got the jump again early in the second but Hawthorn responded with the next five goals, including two from the lively Brockman. The Hawks led disposals 172-115 at half-time, with defenders Changkuoth Jiath, Blake Hardwick, Jack Scrimshaw and Sicily having plenty of ball.

James Worpel's goal straight after half-time opened up a 32-point lead but North responded with more territory, while third-gamer Harry Sheezel drove them on with 10 touches for the quarter.

'WE HAD A TOUGH WEEK' Mitchell proud of resilient Hawks, Roos' 'easy' LDU call

North booted the next three goals, including Kayne Turner's major after Ben Cunnington's shrug along with a 50m shot from the accurate Nick Larkey to close within 12 points at the last change.


The Kangaroos stretched that run to five consecutive goals when Cam Zurhaar produced a classy finish off one step to narrow the gap to three points with less than 12 minutes to play after Hawthorn fluffed a series of chances including an uncharacteristic Luke Breust set-shot miss.

Hawthorn's uncontested mark game dried up while it continued to spurn opportunities, with Cam Mackenzie's effort touched and Lloyd Meek opting to let Conor Nash's snap bounce through, only to hit the post, before Brockman nailed the steadying goal to restore an 11-point buffer with 6:23 left.

Moore's snap settled the points for the Hawks, securing their first win since round 21 last year.


Round one in Clarkson v Mitchell
This fixture was long in the diary for football fans, marking the first meeting between Mitchell and Clarkson as head coaches since their awkward end at Hawthorn. In July 2021, Hawthorn announced Mitchell would take over from Clarkson in 2023 as part of a long-term succession plan but within weeks that changed, with the ex-Hawks midfielder replacing the four-time premiership coach at the end of that season amid talk of unease within the coaches' box. The 40-year-old got one over his old mentor in Launceston, utilising a gameplan that Clarkson's side only came to grips with in the second half, only to leave its run too late.

Sheezel's 30-disposal run comes to an end
Third-gamer Sheezel was looking to become the first player in AFL history to start their career with three straight 30-disposal games, having had 34 and 30 touches against West Coast and Fremantle respectively. Fremantle mature-ager Michael Barlow was the only player previously to do that, before having 17 in his third game. But smooth-moving 18-year-old Sheezel's run came to an end, finishing with 25 disposals, albeit after an excellent second half when he had 16 touches. Sheezel did miss a last-quarter set shot but still had four inside 50s, five score involvements and eight intercept possessions to remain the early clubhouse leader in the AFL Rising Star.

North miss key midfield pair
The Kangaroos will be lamenting co-captain Jy Simpkin's needless one-game ban for striking Fremantle's Caleb Serong in an off-the-ball incident last week, particularly when in-form midfield bull Davies-Uniacke was forced to withdraw at the last minute having experienced calf tightness in the warm-up. The absence of North's chief ball-winners was apparent, although Cunnington tried to pick up the slack with game-highs in contested possessions (13) and clearances (seven) among his 21 touches. Late inclusion Daniel Howe tried his best against his former side with 22 touches but lacked polish, going at 68.2 per cent disposal efficiency.


HAWTHORN                        3.4      8.4      9.5      11.14 (80)
NORTH MELBOURNE          1.3      4.3      7.5         9.7 (61)

Brockman 3, Moore 2, Greene 2, Worpel, Scrimshaw, Newcombe, Macdonald
North Melbourne:
Zurhaar 2, Larkey 2, Turner, Tucker, Taylor, Curtis, Comben

Hawthorn: Day, Moore, Sicily, Newcombe, Brockman, Ward
North Melbourne:
Cunnington, Sheezel, Zurhaar, Scott, Logue, Comben 

Hawthorn: Nil
North Melbourne:

North Melbourne: Luke Davies-Uniacke (calf tightness) replaced in selected side by Daniel Howe 

Hawthorn: Lachlan Bramble (replaced Finn Maginness in third quarter)
North Melbourne:
Darcy Tucker (replaced Hugh Greenwood in third quarter)

Crowd: 11,007 at University of Tasmania Stadium