AN EIGHT-GOAL second term has set Hawthorn up for a whopping victory over fellow cellar-dwellers North Melbourne on Sunday afternoon.

Going into the game in 17th spot on the ladder with the Kangaroos in 18th, the Hawks looked miles ahead of the Roos in the 17.11 (113) to 10.8 (68) victory.

A relatively even first quarter opened up into Hawthorn's favour, with the Hawks piling eight goals to North's three in the second quarter.

The Roos' effort increased in the second half but they were unable to make it count on the scoreboard.

Nick Larkey (three goals) was reliable up forward in his 100th game, while teammate Paul Curtis kicked three.

Hawthorn goalsneak Dylan Moore was influential with four goals, while midfielders Jai Newcombe (32 disposals) and Conor Nash (32) worked hard in the engine room.

The loss leaves North Melbourne as the only winless team so far in 2024.

Apprentice becomes the master… again
Sam Mitchell spent 11 years under Alastair Clarkson at Hawthorn before controversially taking over from the master coach in 2022. Clarkson may have led the Hawks – and Mitchell – to four premierships, but on Sunday, Mitchell won the coaching battle. Marshalling the rock-bottom Roos is a far cry from guiding the all-conquering Hawks team of the early 2010s, but Mitchell will no doubt take some satisfaction out of besting his former mentor for the third time from three attempts.

Newcombe finds his form again
After Hawthorn’s mids copped a belting last week against Gold Coast, Jai Newcombe stood up. Down on form compared to his extraordinary years in 2022 and 2023, the 2021 mid-season draftee was back to his best with 27 disposals and seven clearances. If the Hawks are going to improve in 2024, they’ll need more performances like this from Newcombe.

NORTH MELBOURNE        2.2       5.5        8.6       10.8 (68)
HAWTHORN                      3.3       11.6      14.8     17.11 (113)

North Melbourne: Curtis 3, Larkey 3, Ford, Simpkin, Drury, Tucker
Hawthorn: Moore 4, Ginnivan 2, Chol 2, Amon 2, Meek 2, Gunston, Weddle, Morrison, Macdonald, Maginness

North Melbourne: Sheezel, Xerri, Curtis, Davies-Uniacke
Hawthorn: Newcombe, Nash, Macdonald, Morris, Impey 

North Melbourne: Ford (hip)
Hawthorn: Nil

North Melbourne: Charlie Lazzaro (replaced Eddie Ford in the third quarter)
Hawthorn: Henry Hustwaite (replaced Massimo D’Ambrosio in the third quarter)

Crowd: 30,648 at Marvel Stadium