LUKE Breust has bagged five goals and Chad Wingard introduced himself to Hawthorn fans with three majors in a scrappy 16-point win over North Melbourne at the MCG.
The Hawks overcame a slow start to record a 13.9 (87) to 10.11 (71) win in front of 36,174 fans on Sunday that left the Kangaroos’ season floundering at 0-3.
Alastair Clarkson’s men trailed by 27 points early in the second quarter but worked their way into the contest and finished strongly with five goals in the last quarter.
In his first game since crossing from Port Adelaide, Wingard started slowly but flashed trademark brilliance in attack, with his superb snapped goal in the final term icing the contest.
Hawthorn bounced back from a disappointing loss to the Western Bulldogs without former skipper Jarryd Roughead who was a late withdrawal with a corked thigh, Dylan Moore making his AFL debut in his place.
Jaeger O’Meara was outstanding again with 32 possessions and 12 tackles, with Ricky Henderson also prominent with 29 touches and a goal.
Shaun Higgins (35 disposals) and Ben Cunnington (33) were important for the Roos, but too many of Brad Scott’s players went missing late.
North were patient with their movement in the first quarter, content to deny the opposition the ball then launch quickfire attacks that netted them four goals to lead by 19 points at the first break.
Nine Hawks had just one disposal in the first term, but their work rate lifted.
Wingard’s first touch for his new club was a turnover, then he gave away a 50m penalty, but he redeemed himself with his first goal that sparked a fight back.
Breust received treatment for a corked hip early in the second quarter but returned to boot back-to-back goals to slash the Roos’ lead to nine points at halftime.
The contest hadn’t reached any great heights as a spectacle in the first half and it didn’t improve after the restart, but that suited the Hawks who continued to grind away at North’s lead.
It came as no surprise when Breust put his side in front again with his third.
Cunnington continued to fly the flag for North, helping them finish the quarter strongly to trail by one point heading into the final term.
But with two goals each to Breust and Wingard, Hawthorn bounced out to a 27-point lead before easing to the line to improve to a 2-1 record.
© AAP 2019
HAWTHORN 1.2 5.3 8.6 13.9 (87)
NORTH MELBOURNE 4.3 6.6 7.11 10.11 (71)
Goals: Hawthorn: L Breust 5 C Wingard 3 B McEvoy 2 C Nash I Smith R Henderson. North Melbourne: J Ziebell 2 T Dumont 2 A Hall B Brown B Scott J Polec K Turner S Higgins.
Umpires: Shaun Ryan, Robert O’Gorman, Nick Brown.
Official Crowd: 36,174 at MCG.