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Magic start for Mitchell

Jackson Paine  April 5, 2018 1:55 PM

R2: Mitchell 'We had to dig in' Tom Mitchell spoke about how the team had to dig deep to get the win over the Cats.

You get the feeling we’ll be saying this a lot this year, but… 

Tom Mitchell was outstanding on the weekend.

Coming up against a star-studded Geelong midfield, Mitchell was required to be at his best if the Hawks were to get over the line.

And at his best, he was.

The 24-year old may not have reached the disposal heights of his 54-possession Round 1 performance, instead he was forced to settle with a mediocre 40(!), but he excelled in other areas.

The reigning Peter Crimmins Medallist delivered a career-high 13 clearances, kicked two important goals and gathered 23 contested possessions, the second-best tally of his career behind only the record-breaking previous week.

Read: Who's in the mix for Round 3?

Another interesting statistic to come from the Mitchell’s game, his 24th in a brown and gold guernsey, was that it was only his second match for the Hawks in which he posted more kicks than handballs, with 21 kicks and 19 handballs.

The other occasion was his first game against his former club, the Sydney Swans, in Round 10 last year. 

With 94 touches in the opening fortnight of the season, Mitchell looks set to pace the league in the statistical category just as he did in 2017, with Crow Rory Laird (82 possessions) next in line and Cats pair Gary Ablett Jnr (74) and Joel Selwood (68) following behind.

In a year in which he earned All Australian honours, Mitchell amassed 787 disposals at an average of 35.8 touches per game over his 22 matches in 2017.

With his outstanding first two weeks of season 2018, Mitchell has notched up his 40th and 41st game in which he has collected 30 or more disposals. 

Of every player in the history of the game to have gathered 30 or more possessions on at least 40 occasions, the Hawks ball magnet has achieved the feat at the best rate, with an incredible 46.1% of his 89 career matches ending with Mitchell having the ball 30 or more times. 

The going doesn’t get any easier for Mitchell in Round 3, as he leads the Hawks midfield into a clash with a Dustin Martin-led Richmond midfield.

But it seems Tom Mitchell isn’t overly perturbed by the challenge.

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