Mitchell fires Hawks to AFL win over Roos

A sublime display from Hawthorn veteran Sam Mitchell has propelled the Hawks to an impressive 45-point NAB Challenge win over North Melbourne.

The four-time premiership onballer put on a master class at Etihad Stadium, with his stunning 45-possession effort a highlight of the 2.16.11 (125) to 0.12.8 (80) win on Saturday night.

Hawthorn trailed by seven points at halftime but turned that deficit into a 36-point lead at three-quarter time – a feat made all the more impressive given skipper Luke Hodge only played the first half.

While Mitchell was a cut above, the Hawks also got excellent performances from Josh Gibson, Isaac Smith and Bradley Hill, amongst others.

Luke Breust kicked four goals, James Sicily added two in his final audition for the spot temporarily vacated by the injured Jarryd Roughead and Jack Gunston also kicked two majors in his first game of the pre-season.

Daniel Wells was the shining light for the Kangaroos, with the veteran speedster gathering 24 disposals and kicking a goal as he continues his comeback from a chronic Achilles injury.

Nick Dal Santo and Jack Ziebell were also prominent, while Drew Petrie kicked three goals.

But where the Roos impressed early, Brad Scott won’t be happy with how they faded after halftime and will have a close look at some costly turnovers by foot that helped turn the contest in Hawthorn’s favour in the third term.

Lindsay Thomas won’t enjoy the Monday review, as the goalsneak burned a wide-open Sam Gibson in the goal square to kick a behind from point-blank range in the second quarter.

The Hawks didn’t escape without injury concerns with Liam Shiels (wrist) and Billy Hartung (knee) leaving the ground for treatment.

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