HAWTHORN has overcome a slow start to power past Sydney and clinch its second win of the season with a 14-point triumph at Henson Park.
The Hawks gave up the first two goals of the match but in a repeat of their clash last season were able to overrun the Swans for a 5.10 (40) to 3.8 (26) victory on Saturday.
SWANS v HAWKS Full match coverage and stats
Livewire forward Kristy Stratton hit the scoreboard with two goals while also having a hand in most of Hawthorn’s scores, as Irish recruit Aine McDonagh also booted two majors.
The Hawks (2-5) were up to pick up the much-needed victory despite a quiet start for boom recruit Emily Bates.
Sydney successfully shutdown Bates early and limited the star to only two disposals to the main change, but she bounced back to collect 12 more in the second half.
Kaitlyn Ashmore (23 disposals) was superb, with her run and carry crucial to Hawthorn’s ball movement, as skipper Tilly Lucas-Rodd and Aileen Gilroy (both 18) also led the way.
The Swans (3-4) started brightly but were unable to find their third goal until the dying stages of the game as the Hawks gradually wore them down.
Laura Gardiner continued her outstanding first season for Sydney, gathering a game-high 27 disposals, while co-captain Lucy McEvoy (20) was also busy and booted a stirring consolation goal.
Co-captain Chloe Molloy battled hard to spark the Swans and finished with 21 touches while spending time across all parts of the ground.
Bustling ruck Ally Morphett was dominant around the stoppages and collected 22 hitouts while having a similar impact around the ground with 12 touches.
Sydney made a fast start despite kicking against a stiff breeze in the opening term as Molloy showed her class.
After Rebecca Privitelli opened the scoring, Molloy burst through the middle of the field to deliver a pinpoint pass from outside 50m to Cynthia Hamilton in the goalsquare to stretch the lead.
The Hawks worked their way into the game from there and made the most of kicking with the wind in the third term to pile on three goals in what proved to be a match-turning stretch.
Emily Bates bounces back
Emily Bates surprisingly found the going tougher than most on a blustery day at Henson Park, as the Swans set out to lock down on the Hawks’ boom recruit. Bates only had two possessions to the main change but was crucial to her side turning the contest around in the second half with another 12 touches while showing how to fight off a heavy tag.
Morphett on top in battle of emerging rucks
Ally Morphett and Lucy Wales have both enjoyed breakout seasons as they grasp the No.1 ruck mantle at Sydney and Hawthorn respectively, but in a battle of the young rucks, it was Morphett that came out on top. The 19-year-old controlled the hitouts with 22 to a total of 23 for all of the Hawks, while also gathering 12 disposals. Wales fought back in the second half to finish with 14 hitouts and 8 disposals in a match-up set to entertain us for years to come.
Hawthorn will look to make it back-to-back victories when they host Richmond at Cazaly Stadium in Cairns on Friday night, while Sydney will face Western Bulldogs at VU Whitten Oval on Saturday.
SYDNEY 2.0 2.3 2.5 3.8 (26)
HAWTHORN 1.4 1.7 4.8 5.10 (40)
Sydney: C.Hamilton, McEvoy, Privitelli
Hawthorn: McDonagh 2, Stratton 2, Locke
Sydney: Gardiner, Molloy, McEvoy, Morphett, Privitelli, Mitchell
Hawthorn: Stratton, Ashmore, Lucas-Rodd, Gilroy, McDonagh, Bodey, Wales
Hawthorn: Laura Elliott (illness) replaced in selected side by Lou Stephenson
Crowd: 4,514 at Henson Park