HAWTHORN entered its first NAB Cup clash against West Coast and Fremantle without Jarryd Roughead, Jordan Lewis, Rick Ladson, Sam Mitchell, Josh Gibson, Michael Osborne, Xavier Ellis, Chance Bateman, Clinton Young, Brad Sewell, Luke Hodge, Cameron Bruce, David Hale and Lance Franklin.
Add the injured Tom Murphy to that list – who rolled his ankle in the match against West Coast.
But the young Hawks felt just two points shy of a win against a stronger-named West Coast line-up and won by 14-points over Fremantle. The Dockers were also resting plenty of big names but had perhaps a slight advantage in experience.
The young Hawks lifted, however.
They were a team without their stars – albeit Cyril Rioli and Shaun Burgoyne were perhaps the best of them – but it appeared as if there were plenty that were about to become stars.
Isaac Smith for one. The former North Ballarat premiership star kicked one of his long goals from outside 50m on the run. Sam Menagola impressed; as did Paul Puopolo and Ben Stratton in defence.
Matt Suckling showed plenty of grit, while Jordan Lisle and Jordan Williams also showed bursts of promise particularly against Fremantle.
Hawks coach Alastair Clarkson said after the match: “It took us a little bit of time to settle in that first game and West Coast jumped us, but overall we are really pleased with the outcome of the day. We brought over a very young squad and knew and understood that coming into the game.”
West Coast also posted a win against Fremantle and is off to the second round. The Hawks and the Dockers will rely on other results in order for a second round recall.