Undermanned Hawks belt Tigers in AFL

Richmond’s nightmare AFL season sank further into the mire on Friday night when they lost to a dramatically-undermanned Hawthorn by 46 points.

The three-time defending premiers were missing four of their best players through injury – captain Luke Hodge, Sam Mitchell, Jarryd Roughead and James Frawley.

Coming off last week’s 75-point mauling from GWS, the Hawks belted Richmond in the last term with nine goals to three and won 21.10 (136) to 13.12 (90).

It is Richmond’s sixth-straight loss.

The Tigers showed strong signs of life, leading by 12 points midway through the third term.

But Hawthorn first wrested control of the match from them and then blitzed the Tigers, kicking 12 of the last 15 goals in another bitter disappointment for Richmond.

The Hawks suffered a massive blow pre-match, with Mitchell a late withdrawal.

Their best player so far this season was ruled out with a corked calf and second-gamer Kieran Lovell took his place.

It meant this was the first time since Alastair Clarkson took over as coach in 2005 that his side did not feature Roughead, Mitchell and Hodge.

This was also only the second time since 2001 that Hodge and Mitchell were out of the side at the same time.

Coming off another week of fierce scrutiny, the Tigers predictably came out hard.

Nick Vlastuin kicked the first goal of the game in the opening 20 seconds and within seven minutes they had another two.

But Luke Breust kicked the next three and three more to the Hawks gave them a 16-point lead early in the second term.

It set the tone for the match, with first one side and then the other kicking a brace of goals.

When the game was up for the taking, the Hawks went up a gear and Richmond could not go with them.

Breust kicked three more in the last quarter, giving him six for the game, while defender Josh Gibson and utility Cyril Rioli also starred for Hawthorn.

Dustin Martin was the Tigers’ best and was probably best afield until three-quarter time.

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