UNTRIED Hawthorn key forward Jacob Koschitzke is banging the door down for a Round 1 debut after kicking six goals against North Melbourne at Arden Street on Saturday.
The Hawks led by only four points late in the second quarter of the practice match before the 20-year-old stepped in and tore the game wide open, booting four majors in a row either side of halftime in the Hawks’ 39-point victory.
Koschitzke put on an impressive display of set-shot goalkicking in particular as Hawthorn got out to a 57-point lead at one stage, before running out 17.18 (120) to 12.9 (81) victors.
After finishing in the bottom four last year they’re building some meaningful momentum heading into the new season, backing up their victory over Western Bulldogs last week.
As for the Kangaroos who finished second-bottom last year, the early signs for 2021 are worrying considering they lost to St Kilda by 91 points last week.
North was missing Ben Cunnington, Robbie Tarrant, Jed Anderson, Trent Dumont and Jared Polec, but it could hardly be used as an excuse as Tom Mitchell, Jack Gunston, Chad Wingard, Luke Breust, Jaeger O’Meara, Jack Scrimshaw, and James Sicily (ACL), who is unlikely to play at all this year, were all absent for the Hawks.
Koschitzke wasn’t the only youngster to impress for Hawthorn, with third-year defender Changkuoth Jiath (24 disposals) looking very strong off half-back with his intercept marking and ability to launch numerous rebounds key pillars of his game.
New draftee Tyler Brockman set up the victory with three goals in the first quarter.
Hawthorn was also well-served by Liam Shiels, who had 33 touches and a goal, Harry Morrison (30 and a goal), new recruit Tom Phillips (30 and a goal) and ruckman Jon Ceglar.
Dom Tyson (23 and three goals) and former No.4 draft pick Luke Davies-Uniacke (21 and a goal) put in strong showings in the Kangaroos’ midfield, while Josh Walker booted three majors and former Magpie Jaidyn Stephenson had a team-high 25 touches to go with seven score involvements.
(C) AAP 2021
HAWTHORN 6.4 8.8 15.13 17.18 (120)
NORTH MELBOURNE 2.2 6.4 8.6 12.9 (81)
Goals: Hawthorn: J Koschitzke 6 T Brockman 3 C Nash 2 D Moore H Morrison J Ceglar L Shiels T O’Brien T Phillips. North Melbourne: D Tyson 3 J Walker 3 C Taylor K Turner L Davies-Uniacke N Larkey T Campbell T Thomas.
Umpires: Jacob Mollison, Eleni Glouftsis, Andre Gianfagna.
Official Crowd: 1,635 at Arden Street Oval.