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Hawks thrash Lions by 131 points

By AAP .
14 February 2014 12:17AM EST

JACK Gunston booted five goals as Hawthorn kicked off their AFL pre-season campaign with a 131-point thrashing of the Brisbane Lions on Thursday night.

The defending premiers won 1.22.13 (154) to 0.3.5 (23) against an undermanned Brisbane side at Etihad Stadium.

Vice-captain Tom Rockliff was one of three omissions from Brisbane's original 29-man squad for Thursday's encounter, leaving Andrew Raines and Matt Maguire as the only two 100-game players in the side.

The Hawks' lineup boasted 13 members of their 2013 premiership side.

Brisbane managed one goal and three behinds in the first half and trailed by 84 points at halftime as Hawthorn's Sam Mitchell and Bradley Hill dominated midfield.

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 in the summer.

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 among 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.

Hawthorn assistant Luke Beveridge, who coached the side on Thursday as head coach Alastair Clarkson looked on, said it was a pleasing hit-out for the Hawks.

Beveridge said it was important for McEvoy and No.24 draft pick Billy Hartung to get game time with their new teammates.

"We know in round one both sides are going to be really really different, so we won't hang our hat on tonight," Beveridge said.

"But there were lots of encouraging things."

Leppitsch said the Hawks had really hurt the Lions on the spread with their 286-184 advantage in the uncontested-possessions tally.

The Hawks also won the tackle count 94-60 which Leppitsch said was disappointing.

"It was a great lesson for our young boys," he said.

"Most of these boys were either playing under-18 or local football last year. It was a massive step up in intensity."

Leppitsch said he was planning to select much stronger line-ups in Brisbane's next two pre-season games against Gold Coast and Sydney before their round-one clash with Hawthorn on March 22.

HAWTHORN 0.5.4 1.13.6 1.18.9 1.22.13 (154)
BRISBANE 0.1.2 0.1.3 0.1.4 0.3.5 (23)

Nine pointers: Hawthorn - Suckling. Brisbane - Nil.
Goals: Hawthorn - Gunston 5; Hale 3; Smith, Ceglar, Roughead, Shiels 2; Hill, McEvoy, Lewis, Simpkin, Breust, Langford. Brisbane - Green, Paparone.
Best: Hawthorn - Mitchell, Shiels, Hill, Gunston, McEvoy, Suckling, Lewis, Rioli. Brisbane - Lester, Mayes, Green, Zorko, Harwood, Bourke.
Injuries: Hawthorn - Nil. Brisbane - Crisp (cut head), Zorko (bruised leg), Aish (knock to knee).

Umpires: Chris Donlon, David Harris, Ben Lehner.

Venue: Etihad Stadium.

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