Hawthorn have pulled off a remarkable come-from-behind victory over the Adelaide Crows, in one of the games of the season in Launceston on Sunday afternoon.
Young forward Jacob Koschitzke, in just his fifth game at AFL level, kicked five goals and three behinds in the win, while Jaeger O’Meara lifted in the midfield to help his side come from 32 points down to win by three points in a thriller.
The Hawks celebrate their comeback win.Credit:Getty Images
The Crows had a record 14 goals straight to their scoresheet at half-time and kicked the first after the main break to lead the Hawks by 32, with their tall timber up forward proving a handful for Hawthorn’s defence.
No.2 draft pick Riley Thilthorpe on debut had three goals at the half and kicked two more early in the third quarter to give Crows fans plenty to be excited about. But the visitors didn’t kick another goal after the 13-minute mark of the third term, as the Hawks stormed back into the contest.
O’Meara (31 disposals) and Tom Mitchell (25) were busy in the second half, while Changkuoth Jiath gave the Hawks plenty of spark off the back line as the home side overwhelmed the Crows in the territory battle.
They sprayed opportunities in front of goal late and left the door ajar for Adelaide to pinch the win back, but a set shot from from Ben Keays with just two minutes to go hit the point post as Alastair Clarkson’s men denied the Crows a return to the top eight.
Jacob Koschitzke kicked five for the Hawks.Credit:Getty Images
In a critial moment late in the third term, Will Hamill hurt his ankle in a marking contest, leaving the Crows scrambling on the bench.
Tom Lynch was on standby as the Crows’ medical sub, but was not prepared for the call up into the game, rushing into the rooms to find his footy boots before undergoing a fitness test to get up to speed for the final term.
But by the time he appeared on the ground, the Hawks had cut the margin back to six points and were full of momentum.
Both sides took the game on and set a record number of play-on from marks, but turnovers gave both sides opportunities to score. In the end, the Crows recorded 84 turnovers, 11 more than the Hawks who won the game despite scoring less goals than the Crows.
Taylor Walker retains his leading role in the Coleman Medal race, kicking three goals to take his season tally to 25, while Luke Breust also kicked three goals on Sunday.
Rory Laird (32 disposals), Keays (31) and Paul Seedsman (27) had plenty of the footy, but the Crows struggled to gain any sort of rhythm to their game in the second half.
The win was Hawthorn’s second of the season, but it was soured by an ankle injury to Shaun Burgoyne in his 395th career game. He was subbed out of the game at half-time, with Finn Maginness entering the contest.
The Hawks’ season remains delicately poised, however, with another must-win game against St Kilda on Saturday.
Hawthorn: Jaeger O’Meara, Jacob Koschitzke, Luke Breust, Changkuoth Jiath, Tom Mitchell. Adelaide: Riley Thilthorpe, Riley O’Brien, Rory Laird, Ben Keays, Taylor Walker
Jaeger O’Meara (Haw) 8
Jacob Koschitzke (Haw) 8
Riley Thilthorpe (Adel) 7
Luke Breust (Haw) 7
Changkuoth Jiath (Haw) 7
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