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The talking points: R5

R5: Clarkson 'We didn't make good choices' Alastair Clarkson gave credit to Geelong but also feels his side squandered plenty of opportunities going forward.
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 22: Ricky Henderson of the Hawks looks on during the 2019 AFL round 05 match between the Hawthorn Hawks and the Geelong Cats at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on April 22, 2019 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Dylan Burns/AFL Photos)
Ricky Henderson has had an outstanding start to season 2019.

Henderson’s hot streak

There are only two players in the league who have kicked at least six goals and averaged at least 27 disposals through the opening five rounds: Patrick Dangerfield and Ricky Henderson. Henderson’s form in 2019 has been nothing short of outstanding, with his performance against the Cats taking his campaign to further heights with a career-high 33 disposals. With a number of injuries to key midfield personnel, Henderson is stepping up in a big way for the Hawks.  

The newest Lewis

Mitch Lewis showed some promising signs on Monday, with the young key forward gathering 14 disposals, four marks as well as kicking the first goal of his AFL career. Lewis’ goal, the Hawks’ second of the day, may have been somewhat gifted by Henderson, but from there the 20-year-old earned his keep in an encouraging display. Standing at 198cm tall, Lewis’ second efforts were a feature of his third career game with 10 of his 14 possessions contested.

Read: VFL match report

Top Gun goes back

All Australian forward Jack Gunston spent his day in the back half of the ground, tasked with minding Gary Ablett for the majority of the game. Speaking after the match, Alastair Clarkson said the positional switch was for multiple reasons. With captain Ben Stratton a late withdrawal from the side as well as young forward Mitch Lewis’ inclusion, Clarkson felt the balance of the side was best served with Gunston moving to defence. The stand-in captain provided leadership from the backline as he finished with 14 touches and eight marks.

Cats Hawks rivalry still well and truly alive

Though it wasn’t one of the closest encounters in this rivalry’s recent history, it was still one of those games that had supporters thinking anything could happen. From the Hawks’ fast start, to the Cats’ second and third term ascendency, to a late Hawthorn fight back; it was only after Tom Hawkins’ final goal that Cats supporters knew the game was won. With 67,000 flocking to the ‘G for the Monday afternoon fixture, it’s clear that the Hawks v Cats contest is still one of the most anticipated games on the home and away calendar.

The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs