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AFL match report: Pies fall to Hawks

THE SIMILARITIES with the 2011 preliminary final were remarkable.

A big Friday night crowd at the MCG, a fierce, frenetic contest, highlights by the bucketload, and a handy Hawthorn lead whittled away and lost during the last quarter.

Only this time, the result was different.

This time, the Hawks finished the stronger, booting five of the game's last six goals to run away with a 22-point victory over Collingwood in front of 78,464 fans.

In a match that gave both justification to the pre-season hype around Alastair Clarkson's men and proof that the Magpies can still be a force, the Hawks won 20.17 (137) to 16.19 (115).

Sam Mitchell and Brad Sewell were midfield generals for Hawthorn, waging an engrossing battle with Collingwood superstar Scott Pendlebury.

Mitchell had 31 disposals and Sewell 26 to help set the game up for Hawthorn.

Lance Franklin finished off their tireless work, overcoming a slow start to finish with five goals and 21 disposals.

Small forward Cyril Rioli inspired his team in the second quarter, jamming countless highlights into 30 brilliant minutes of football as the Hawks came from 13 points down to take a 15-point lead into half-time.

The 22-year-old booted two fleet-footed goals, took a spectacular leaping mark over Collingwood half-back Heath Shaw, chased and tackled, and sent teammate Jordan Lewis into an open goal with a brilliant no-look handpass.

Rioli went quiet after half-time, and Collingwood turned a game-high 26-point deficit at the nine-minute mark of the third quarter into a five-point lead when Dale Thomas kicked the Magpies’ third consecutive goal at the 10-minute mark of the final quarter.

The Hawks quickly hit back, with the energy coming from third-quarter sub Jack Gunston. The former Crow booted a boundary-side goal and gathered seven disposals in his first game in brown and gold.

Small forward Jarryd Blair was Collingwood's leading goal-kicker, booting three opportunist goals.

Big man Travis Cloke was a constant threat in the air but was let down by his kicking.

He finished with two goals, three behinds, and one out on the full.

Hawthorn         2.1    10.6    14.10    20.17 (137)
Collingwood     2.7    7.9      12.16    16.19 (115)

Hawthorn: Franklin 5, Rioli 2, Lewis 2, Whitecross 2, Savage 2, Smith 2, Birchall, McCauley, Burgoyne, Gunston, Osborne
Collingwood: Blair 3, Fasolo 2, Cloke 2, Pendlebury 2, Jolly 2, Thomas 2, Shaw, Swan, Paine

Hawthorn: Mitchell, Birchall, Sewell, Rioli, Franklin, Whitecross
Collingwood: Pendlebury, Ball, Blair, Swan, Cloke, Jolly

Hawthorn: Nil
Collingwood: Nil

Hawthorn: Jarrad Boumann replaced by Jack Gunston in the third quarter.
Collingwood: Peter Yagmoor replaced by Paul Seedsman in the third quarter.

Reports: Nil

Umpires: McBurney, McInerney, Mollison

Official crowd: 78,464 at MCG

The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the club.