AFL exports | Hawkins boots 700th goal, Marshall bags four in big Power win
Finley product Tom Hawkins became one of just 26 players to kick 700 goals in VFL/AFL history on Saturday afternoon, chalking up the milestone in Geelong’s hard-fought 18-point win over West Coast at Optus Stadium.
The 33-year-old was at his dominant best in the victory — kicking three majors, taking 10 marks and registering six goal assists — as he continues to stake his claim as one of the competition’s premier key forwards.
Currently sitting third in the Coleman Medal with 36 majors, Cats coach Chris Scott told AFL 360 the veteran just kept on getting better.
"I think his capacity to adjust with the way the game's shifted is something that's taken a few by surprise," Scott said.
"My observation watching him early in his career is he was a really big lump of a kid.
"But he's grown into his body and learnt how to use it over the years and now his craft is as good as any key forward going around.
"He doesn't rely on his physical attributes as much."
Scott went on to add that Hawkins’ impact on the game far exceeded his ability to hit the scoreboard.
"I don't think the 700 goals is in any way a fair reflection of what he's been," he said.
"The sum of his game is so much more than just goals."
Deniliquin’s Todd Marshall continued his breakout season, kicking four goals in Port Adelaide’s pivotal 23-point victory over Sydney on Saturday afternoon.
Taking command of the Power forward line, Marshall presented hard at the ball and got involved up the field to take eight marks and collect 13 disposals.
A haul that takes his season tally up to 27, Port mentor Ken Hinkley was full of praise for the young key forward.
‘’Some people look silly don't they, I've got to enjoy that moment because I've felt a bit of heat for Todd for a good period of time,’’ Hinkley said post-game.
‘’He's a young forward who's taken a bit of time to get to where he can be. He's still got a lot to go. He's got so much more growth still. He's still very young.
‘’I've said it a number of times and people don't like to listen. The reality is he's had some challenges early but he's kept at it and we've stuck with him.’’
Echuca’s Ollie Wines was another that impressed in the win for Port, picking up a game-high 34 disposals.
A bull around the stoppages, the reigning Brownlow medallist did his best work in the trenches, registering 14 contested possessions and winning 10 clearances.
Kyabram’s Nick Holman played a key role in Gold Coast’s 43-point win over Adelaide on Sunday.
Making a name for himself as an elite pressure forward, Holman managed to hit the scoreboard with two critical majors while also making life hard for the Crows defence with 20 pressure acts.
Shepparton Swans product Josh Rachele made his return for the Crows and was relatively quiet, picking up just 10 disposals and kicking one goal.
Kialla’s Alex Keath was solid in defence for the Western Bulldogs in their 20-point win over Greater Western Sydney on Saturday night, collecting 13 disposals and taking six marks.
Seymour’s Sam Durham continues to cement himself in Essendon’s best 22, picking up 16 touches and kicking a goal in the Bombers upset win on Friday night over St Kilda.