February 17, 2017
Jarryd Roughead made a successful return to footy on Friday night. Picture: Chris Kidd
New Hawks skipper Roughead, playing his first match since the 2015 Grand Final after overcoming cancer, was the feel-good story on his return to the field in the JLT series opener.He was embraced by Cats captain for the night Harry Taylor prior to the toss, while both Tom Lonergan and Lachie Henderson made a beeline to the key forward to show their appreciation with a quick hug before the first bounce.SUPERCOACH: EVERY SCORE FROM HAWKS v CATSBut after conceding the first two goals of the contest, it was as friendly as Hawthorn got in the first half as they bolted to a 41 point lead at the long break.Geelong stormed back with a breathtaking nine goal to two third stanza, before Kade Stewart’s goal on the final siren from 40m saw the Hawks pinch a 15.8.98 to 18.104.22.168 win.
After waiting four minutes for his first touch, Roughead quickly worked his way into the game, splitting his time in a variety of roles from deep forward to roving mobile big man.He had two centre clearances in the opening term which resulted in goals for his side, but the biggest cheer came as time on ticked over in the quarter.Heading back with the flight of the ball 10m from the goal line, Roughead was awarded a free kick from a push, before wheeling around onto his left boot to snap the major to a huge applause. Like several of his teammates he ran out of gas in the second half as the Cats roared to life, but his first outing in 17 months showed he is likely to have a big impact once he gets some more match conditioning under his belt.“It’s not about this game, it is building towards Round 1, you guys (the media) make it big and I understand that but for me, this is just a small step leading towards Round 1,” Roughead said.“It’s just a matter of getting minutes in, that’s what this is all about.
“Towards the end I was cooked but I guess you’re going to get that when you’ve had a bit of time off.“I haven’t played for 500 odd days or so, of course I am going to have fun.”NEW FOR OLD REPLACEMENTWhen Hawthorn traded club stalwart and champion midfielder Sam Mitchell to West Coast, they did so knowing they were losing their No.1 inside midfielder extractor.But it didn’t take long for replacement Jaeger O’Meara to prove exactly why the Hawks were so keen on securing the services of the former Gold Coast Sun.The 2013 rising star, who hasn’t been seen at AFL level in two years due to knee problems, didn’t take long to find his feet in his debut in the brown and gold, slotting in seamlessly into Mitchell’s shoes.By halftime eight of his 12 touches were contested _ the second most on the ground behind Brownlow medallist Patrick Dangerfield, while he also had five tackles and three clearances, before being wrapped in cotton wool for the second half.
EVEN THE MAGICIAN MAKES MISTAKESThere isn’t much Cyril Rioli can’t do on a footy field, and as usual he proved he doesn’t need to win a heap of the ball to have an impact.The electric forward only had seven possessions at half time, but had snagged two goals and produced a number of brilliant defensive efforts.However in the third quarter he proved he was human when, running into an open goal, he shanked his kick and the ball grazed the inside of the goal post.Rioli made amends a short time later when he slotted his third major from a set shot, finishing with the most goals for the home side.RUCK WOES?With Jonathon Ceglar to miss a large chunk of the season with a knee injury, much of the ruck load falls onto the shoulders of Ben McEvoy for the Hawks.But after kicking his side’s opening goal of the match, McEvoy was well beaten by opposite number Zac Smith.Smith dominated the hit-outs (29 to 17) and looked better around the ground, with the Hawks needing to get more from recruit Ty Vickery as the season progresses.Originally published as Hawks win close one as Roughy eyes Round 1
Source:News Corp Australia