Wangaratta product Zachary O'Brien's introduction to AFL football last night was as rough as they come. The former Wangaratta Rovers and Yarrawonga player debuted for the Brisbane Lions in a 131-point annihilation from defending premier Hawthorn and its own first-gamer Dayle Garlett.
JACK Gunston booted five goals as Hawthorn kicked off its AFL pre-season campaign with a 131-point thrashing of the Brisbane Lions last night.
The defending premiers won 1.22.13 (154) to 0.3.5 (23) against an undermanned Brisbane at Etihad Stadium.
Vice-captain Tom Rockliff was one of three omissions from Brisbane’s original 29-man squad for yesterday’s encounter, leaving Andrew Raines and Matt Maguire as the only two 100-game players in the side.
The Hawks’ boasted 13 members of last year’s premiership side.
Brisbane managed one goal and three behinds in the first half and trailed by 84 points at half-time as Hawthorn’s Sam Mitchell and Bradley Hill dominated.
Hawthorn added 5.3 (33) to Brisbane’s one behind in the third term to advance to a 116-point advantage at the final change.
Brisbane kicked two goals to Hawthorn’s four in the last quarter and battled on bravely as the Hawks flexed their muscles in the post-Lance Franklin era after the star forward’s move to Sydney.
Mitchell had a game-high 33 possessions while Isaac Smith and Luke Breust were also prominent.
Ryan Lester, Sam Mayes, Dayne Zorko, Ryan Harwood and Josh Green were Brisbane’s better contributors in a one-sided contest.
Brisbane’s No.7 draft pick James Aish limped off in the third term with a knee problem but returned to finish with 14 disposals.
Ex-Saint Ben McEvoy formed part of formidable ruck-forward combination for the Hawks alongside David Hale (three goals), Jarryd Roughead (two goals) and Jonathon Ceglar (two goals).
Hawthorn’s next pre-season assignment is in Launceston on February 21 against North Melbourne.
New Brisbane coach Justin Leppitsch is expected to call on Rockliff, skipper Jed Adcock, Daniel Rich, Pearce Hanley and last year’s club champion Joel Patfull among a host of big-name inclusions for their clash with Gold Coast
in Townsville on February 23.