HAWTHORN is set to take an exciting new-look forward line into the upcoming season, with impressive duo Jacob Koschitzke and Tyler Brockman making stunning claims for round one debuts in the side's AAMI Community Series victory over North Melbourne on Saturday.
Key forward Koschitzke produced a remarkable six-goal haul to inspire the side's 17.18 (120) to 12.9 (81) win, with first-year youngster Brockman adding three of his own to help light up the Arden Street encounter.
KANGAROOS v HAWKS Full match coverage and stats
Into his third season in the AFL system, the 196cm Koschitzke – cousin of former 200-game St Kilda star Justin – has made a successful switch from the backline this summer and stamped his name in the round one picture with an emphatic display.
The 20-year-old marked strongly and finished accurately, with his six goals complementing 12 disposals and six marks. It was a timely performance, with Jack Gunston hobbled by a back injury and Mitch Lewis a late withdraw from Saturday's hitout.
Koschitzke's feats backed up the production of the talented Brockman, with last year's pick No.46 kicking three goals in a brilliant opening term and adding plenty of outside run in the emphatic 39-point win.
Their efforts in attack were anchored at the other end by Changkuoth Jiath, who flourished in an intercepting role across half-back to also become one of the game's star performers with 24 disposals and seven marks.
The Hawks had more positives emerging from a bulked-up midfield, with Harry Morrison (30 disposals, one goal) among the best and new recruit Tom Phillips (30 disposals, one goal) also busy in a new inside role.
A young North Melbourne side had enjoyed a competitive first half, with Dom Tyson (23 disposals, three goals) and the promising Luke Davies-Uniacke (21 disposals, six clearances) excelling in the midfield.
New recruit Jaidyn Stephenson shared his time between midfield and the forward line, finishing with 25 disposals, while the experienced Josh Walker was the team's most dangerous attacking threat and kicked three goals.
North Melbourne skipper Jack Ziebell had 23 disposals in his new role across half-back, but the experienced campaigner struggled when asked to handle Koschitzke before free agency recruit Aidan Corr took over the task.
Hawthorn opens its 2021 campaign against Essendon at Marvel Stadium on March 20, while North Melbourne hosts Port Adelaide at Marvel Stadium to begin its season the following day.
Hawthorn youngster Tyler Brockman lit up the contest with three goals in the first quarter, as well as some exciting passages and some daring leaps at the footy. Jacob Koschitzke then picked up where he left off, taking some strong marks in the second term and finishing with six goals. Lachie Bramble started in the middle, despite only being signed on Friday, but was relatively quiet. Tom Phillips was impressive as an inside midfielder, first-year Academy graduate Connor Downie was exciting on a wing and ex-Adelaide recruit Kyle Hartigan was solid down back. North Melbourne recruit Jaidyn Stephenson split his time relatively evenly between the midfield and the forward line, but had an indifferent afternoon, while first-round pick Tom Powell did some nice things as a high half-forward before being withdrawn after half-time. New duo Atu Bosenavulagi and Lachie Young both played across half-back, while Aidan Corr was asked to man the red-hot Koschitzke when he got off the chain. Newly drafted trio Charlie Lazzaro, Will Phillips and Phoenix Spicer played limited minutes.
Round one chance
North Melbourne youngster Tom Powell looks in the frame for a round one debut, impressing when he went through the midfield to finish with 15 disposals to half-time. After just three games in two years, Dom Tyson also looks set to provide more midfield support after winning 23 and kicking three goals. Hawthorn duo Jacob Koschitzke and Tyler Brockman can be pencilled in for round one, while Harry Morrison looks destined for more midfield time. Changkuoth Jiath was impressive down back and looks set to add to his seven senior games this season.
Hawthorn had key forward Mitch Lewis pull out of the clash just prior to the bounce with back spasms. The Hawks will be sweating on the fitness of Chad Wingard (calf) and Tom Mitchell (shoulder) ahead of round one, with the club still unsure whether both will be fit. North Melbourne should have Ben Cunnington (concussion) back for round one, while Jed Anderson (calf), Trent Dumont (calf) and Jared Polec (hamstring) are also in the frame.
All eyes were on new Hawk Tom Phillips (MID/FWD, $602,000) who did everything right to justify his 31 per cent ownership. Phillips' 141 with plenty of midfield clock makes him a Fantasy Classic lock but it was his teammate Tyler Brockman (MID/FWD, $180,000) who may offer more value if named in round one. His three first-quarter goals helped him to 69 points. Same goes for Jacob Koschitzke (DEF, $170,000) who booted six goals, racking up 95 points and most importantly looking likely for a round one debut and a handy basement-priced defender. For the Roos, Jaidyn Stephenson (FWD, $470,000) and Tom Powell (MID, $246,000) look set to increase their prices early in the season scoring 95 and 64 respectively.
NORTH MELBOURNE 2.2 6.4 8.6 12.9 (81)
HAWTHORN 6.4 8.8 15.13 17.18 (120)
North Melbourne: Walker 3, Tyson 3, Davies-Uniacke, Larkey, Taylor, Turner, Campbell, Thomas
Hawthorn: Koschitzke 6, Brockman 3, Nash 2, Shiels, Moore, O'Brien, Morrison, Ceglar, Phillips
North Melbourne: Tyson, Davies-Uniacke, Walker, Powell, Corr
Hawthorn: Koschitzke, Morrison, Shiels, Jiath, Phillips, Moore, Brockman
North Melbourne: Nil
Hawthorn: Lewis (back)
Crowd: 1656 at Arden Street