RICHMOND superstar Dustin Martin continued his strong start to the AFL season as the reigning premiers ground out a 29-point win over Hawthorn at the MCG.
The competition’s best player was under the direct watch of its oldest – Hawks veteran Shaun Burgoyne – for long periods but still had 28 disposals and kicked a superb running goal out of the centre square.
Martin was unselfish in attack, finishing with five score assists, as key forwards Jack Riewoldt and Tom Lynch combined for six majors in the 11.12 (78) to 7.7 (49) win on Sunday.
Tigers captain Trent Cotchin returned after missing round one through illness and didn’t miss a beat, gathering 27 disposals in a strong display.
Dion Prestia, Shai Bolton and Noah Balta were all influential contributors for Richmond.
Hawthorn ball magnet Tom Mitchell (37 disposals) racked up touches at will but it didn’t appear to overly concern the Tigers, who held sway from the outset.
In their only meeting last year, the Hawks stunned Richmond with five unanswered first-quarter goals to lay the platform for a huge upset.
But any hopes of a repeat this time were snuffed out in the opening term as the efficient Tigers kicked the first three majors to create a buffer.
They did enough to keep Hawthorn at arm’s length in what was a fairly even contest by the numbers as the teams went goal for goal through the middle period of the match.
The Tigers were never seriously challenged and led at every change before pulling clear in the final term.
Luke Breust and second-gamer Tyler Brockman kicked two goals each for the Hawks, whose loss was further soured by an ankle injury to Will Day.
The young gun was substituted out of the match during the third quarter and replaced by Jack Scrimshaw.
Earlier, Hawthorn’s No.6 draft pick Denver Grainger-Barras hyperextended a knee in a VFL practice match.
(C) AAP 2021
RICHMOND 4.4 8.7 9.8 11.12 (78)
HAWTHORN 1.1 5.2 6.3 7.7 (49)
Goals: Richmond: J Riewoldt 4 J Castagna 2 T Lynch 2 D Martin J Aarts N Balta. Hawthorn: L Breust 2 T Brockman 2 H Morrison J Koschitzke T O’Brien.
Umpires: Leigh Fisher, Nick Brown, Hayden Gavine.
Official Crowd: 41,051 at MCG.