Hawthorn and Collingwood players have honoured Adelaide coach Phil Walsh with a moving gesture after Friday’s night AFL match at the MCG.
The Hawks won by 10 points, but the pulsating match ended one of the most tragic days in the game’s history.
Walsh was murdered early on Friday morning at his home, allegedly stabbed to death by his 26-year-old son, Cy, who has since been charged by police.
Immediately after Hawthorn won 15.11 (101) to 12.19 (91), the two teams gathered in the middle of the ground.
Led by Hawks coach Alastair Clarkson and his Collingwood counterpart Nathan Buckley, the two teams formed a huddle around the centre circle and had a moment’s silence.
It was a touching variation on the post-game club song that the winning team usually belts out in the changerooms.
The players also wore black armbands and there was no playing of the club songs before or after the game because of the dreadful circumstances.
But after the league decided that only Sunday’s Adelaide-Geelong game should be cancelled, the Hawks and Magpies briefly lifted the mood of the day with an outstanding contest.
Hawks small forward Cyril Rioli starred with five goals and a crucial smother late in the frenetic last quarter.
As the scoreline shows, Collingwood were left ruing too many lost chances in front of goal.
After kicking 2.9 in the third term, they kicked the first three goals of the last term to lead by nine points.
But Rioli kicked his fifth and then substitute Matt Suckling’s booming goal put the Hawks in front.
Rioli’s midfield smother with a couple of minutes left on the clock led to Luke Breust kicking the sealer.
It was a brave effort from the Hawks, who lost key forward Jarryd Roughead for the clash when he had a melanoma removed from his lip.
Roughead is one of their most important players and it is unclear when he will return.
They were also without key defender James Frawley because of a shoulder injury.
It is Hawthorn’s fifth-straight win and puts them a game clear of Collingwood in fourth spot.