An eye-catching performance from Dustin Martin has helped Richmond to an emphatic 71-point NAB Challenge win over an undermanned Hawthorn at Holm Park Reserve in Beaconsfield.
A Hawks side missing a host of premiership stars – including Luke Hodge, Sam Mitchell, Isaac Smith and Luke Breust – couldn’t go with the Tigers after quarter-time, with Damien Hardwick’s men going on to post a 1.15.5 (104) to 0.4.9 (33) win in front of a sell-out crowd of 6384.
After a scrappy first quarter, a much-improved Richmond bounced out to a 27-point lead at halftime, then increased their advantage to 43 points at the last break ,before finishing the job in impressive fashion.
Martin was influential from the outset, gathering 25 possessions and taking eight marks.
He joined fellow star Tigers Trent Cotchin, Jack Riewoldt, Alex Rance and Shane Edwards in playing their first games of the pre-season campaign after a youthful line-up went down last week to Fremantle.
Riewoldt finished with a nine-point goal, 10 marks and five score involvements after a brilliant opening term, while Cotchin (21 possessions and two goals) and Rance (26 touches) were also prominent.
Edwards led all scorers with four goals, with Bachar Houli, Brandon Ellis and Anthony Miles also playing key roles.
Liam Shiels skippered the Hawks in the absence of Hodge and he was important with a team-high 20 touches, with veterans Josh Gibson, Jordan Lewis and Shaun Burgoyne also influential.
Cyril Rioli played his first game of the pre-season for the Hawks and the Norm Smith medallist will be better for the run, gathering just three touches without scoring before he was put in cotton wool at halftime.
Hawthorn didn’t escape unscathed with ruckman Jack Fitzpatrick limping off in the final term after hyper-extending a knee in a marking contest.