Hawthorn destroyed St Kilda by a record 145 points, but lost AFL stars Sam Mitchell and Brian Lake to injury at the MCG.
The Hawks were ruthless in Saturday’s wet conditions and gave the developing Saints a 27.13 (175) to 4.6 (30) education.
It is a record margin between the two clubs, beating Hawthorn’s 129-point win in 1983.
It is also Hawthorn’s fifth-highest winning margin and the lowest score the Saints have kicked against the Hawks.
Ryan Schoenmakers – making his return from a knee reconstruction – Jarryd Roughead, Luke Breust and Jack Gunston all kicked four goals in the rout.
The massive win could come at a cost – Mitchell was subbed out at quarter-time with a hamstring injury.
Lake, who returned from a calf muscle injury last week, hobbled off early in the third quarter.
The Hawks did as they pleased, kicking the first five goals of the match in the opening 16 minutes.
One of the most impressive features of Hawthorn’s performance was – apart from a few minutes near the end of the first quarter – their relentless pressure.
Remarkably, St Kilda were unable to move the ball past centre for the first 15 minutes of the second term.
They had just three inside 50s for the quarter and were kept scoreless as the Hawks kicked five goals.
The reigning premiers then went on a scoring frenzy in the third quarter, kicking 10 goals to one.
Schoenmakers made a successful return from his knee injury and was mobbed by teammates when he kicked the first of four goals.
While the Hawks scored at will, at the other end, Saints captain Nick Riewoldt was powerless.
Riewoldt has been a key to St Kilda’s encouraging start to the season.
But he was starved of supply and Hawthorn key defender Josh Gibson blanketed him.
Midfielder Shaun Burgoyne was also high among the Hawks’ best.
Adding to a horrendous day for the Saints, Jarryn Geary was forced off early in the second term with a nasty-looking elbow injury.
First-year player Jack Billings, who will be a star, and much-respected veteran Lenny Hayes were best for the Saints.