Collingwood did well at pushing the game into the contest and refusing Hawthorn enough opportunity to meaningfully control the ball on the outside with their kick and mark style.
Then, when Collingwood had the ball, they were far more direct with it as opposed to the patchy and handball-heavy game that got them into trouble against Essendon last week.
Isaac Quaynor – playing his first game since round four last year – typified this approach. He ran to break lines instead of over-using the handball and his kicking was always decisive and often very long. His teammates followed.
Hawthorn moved the ball much too slowly. They usually like to hold possession but at their best there is a higher tempo to their play. They seemed scared to go inside 50.
Before it got outside Hawthorn were beaten in the midfield by the likes of Taylor Adams and Adam Treloar.
There were only three goals kicked in the second and third quarter with Collingwood maintaining their lead. Brody Mihocek and Will Hoskin-Elliott missed easy set shots although the former had an excellent game overall.
It didn’t matter though, mainly because of Hawthorn’s timid mindset.
This was a dismal performance by Hawthorn. Collingwood essentially put the cue in the rack after half-time and checked their attacking aggression and not even that allowed Hawthorn to creep closer.
When Jack Gunston snapped Hawthorn’s third goal of the game with six minutes left on the clock it was the Hawks’ first major since the three-minute mark of the second term.
The 32-point margin felt more like 70 points.
In more bad news for the Hawks Jonathon Patton injured his hamstring early and was in tears given his injury history. He was taken from the field and will likely miss more footy.
Two other handy contributors in the middle for Collingwood were Jamie Elliott and Jaidyn Stephenson. Elliot has pinch hit in the middle at times lately but against Hawthorn he spent a lot more time in the engine room, with three early centre clearances.
Stephenson, meanwhile, spent most time on the wing and across half-back. He hasn’t really been seen there since his final year of junior footy and he looked competent enough in the “Steele Sidebottom-role” to suggest he is more than capable of settling there one day.
There were four players on debut on Friday night, and the first to announce himself was Will Kelly, son of Craig Kelly, who kicked a goal on the run with his first kick in the AFL.
But souring his debut, and the night for the Pies, was the fact Kelly went off cradling his arm after a high-flying marking attempt late.
The Pies’ other debut boy was Atu Bosenavulagi, who played very quick and slick across half-forward, and was very impressive.
Hawthorn’s first-gamers were Will Day and Josh Morris. Day looked the better of the two on debut on what was a tough night.
COLLINGWOOD 5.1 6.5 7.8 8.11 (59)
HAWTHORN 1.0 2.1 2.2 3.9 (27)
Collingwood: Mihocek 4, Hoskin-Elliott 2, Kelly, Cox
Hawthorn: McEvoy, Smith, Gunston
Collingwood: Moore, Elliott, Treloar, Adams, Mihocek, Maynard, Quaynor, Pendlebury
Hawthorn: Sicily, Mitchell, Smith, Shiels
Hawthorn: Patton (hamstring).
Collingwood: Kelly (elbow).
UMPIRES O’Gorman, Deboy, Ryan
VENUE Giants Stadium
Anthony is a sports reporter at The Age.