Hawthorn ended Collingwood’s season and streak of eight straight finals appearances with a comfortable 65-point victory in their AFL clash on Friday night at the MCG.
The Hawks’ 18.13 (121) to 8.8 (56) win came after sluggish start, but the biggest concern for coach Alastair Clarkson could be another injury to a key defender.
Brian Lake hobbled from the ground in the third quarter with what looked to be a hip issue.
While he was able to jog lightly along the boundary, Lake was substituted at three-quarter time and will be keenly monitored ahead of the Hawks’ expected qualifying final with Geelong next weekend.
Despite a list of absentees well into double-figures, the Magpies started with a ferocity that surprised Hawthorn.
Jarryd Blair led the assault, with five tackles in the opening 15 minutes, as Collingwood kicked the first two goals.
First-gamer Corey Gault sprayed his first AFL kick out of bounds but made amends with his second, marking and kicking truly from the pocket.
The Magpies should have built a bigger lead over the Hawks who, with 1.4, had their worst first quarter in two seasons.
With Collingwood committed to a tough, man-on-man approach, both teams struggled to get the ball into space.
But as Blair’s output faded – he was without a touch in the second term – so did the Magpies.
Hawthorn’s superior run and spread paved the way for a seven-goal quarter.
Jarryd Roughead led the way with three second-quarter goals while Sam Mitchell dominated the middle.
The Hawks were never seriously challenged from that point, with another four goals in the opening six minutes of the last quarter helping blow out the margin.
Jack Gunston finished with five goals and Roughead four.
Collingwood’s capitulation leaves the Magpies without finals football for the first time since 2005 and ends the AFL career of Luke Ball.
Ball, who announced his retirement on Thursday, was given warm applause throughout the match.