Hawthorn have had the dream start to its premiership aspirations, defeating Collingwood by 22 points at the MCG.
Putting off the disappointment from the last time these teams played, the Hawks displayed quality beyond that expected of a round 1 clash, to hand new Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley a loss in his first game.
Lance Franklin (21 disposals, 5 goals) and Sam Mitchell (31 disposals, 11 clearances) were at their brilliant best whilst Scott Pendlebury (33 disposals, 13 clearances and 2 goals) was dominant for the Pies.
The game was of a frenetic pace right from the start with the game played from end to end before a 55-metre bomb from Birchall eventually broke the deadlock to put the Hawks in front.
From this point on, Collingwood started to wrestle some control, though inaccuracy in front of goal kept Hawthorn within 6 points at the first break.
Collingwood would begin to rue the missed opportunities in the second-quarter, as Hawthorn, on the back of a brilliant quarter from Rioli, made the most of their opportunities, kicking the last three goals of the quarter to go in to the half-time break with a 15-point buffer.
Hawthorn continued on from where they finished, kicking 3 of the first 4 goals to reach a game-high margin of 25 points. A Pendlebury-led Collingwood refused to lie down, dragging the margin back to just 5 points at the final break, setting up what promised to be an epic final quarter.
Collingwood continued their momentum early, hitting the front after a dribbling goal from Dale Thomas. The stench of possible defeat was enough to lift the Hawks, who went on to kick the next 5 goals to seal the perfect start in Hawthorn’s campaign.
Hawthorn will now face reigning premiers Geelong on Easter Monday whilst Collingwood will meet Richmond next Saturday night.
Hawthorn 2.1 10.6 14.10 20.17 (137)
Collingwood 2.7 7.9 12.16 16.19 (115)
Hawthorn: Franklin 5, Rioli 2, Lewis 2, Whitecross 2, Savage 2, Smith 2, Birchall, McCauley, Burgoyne, Gunston, Osborne
Collingwood: Blair 3, Fasolo 2, Cloke 2, Pendlebury 2, Jolly 2, Thomas 2, Shaw, Swan, Paine
Hawthorn: Mitchell, Birchall, Sewell, Rioli, Franklin, Whitecross
Collingwood: Pendlebury, Ball, Blair, Swan, Cloke, Jolly
Hawthorn: Jarrad Boumann replaced by Jack Gunston in the third quarter.
Collingwood: Peter Yagmoor replaced by Paul Seedsman in the third quarter.
Umpires: McBurney, McInerney, Mollison
Official crowd: 78,464 at the MCG.