Final scores

That’s it from our Gather Round blog!

Well there you go, that was Gather Round.

It’s been a big weekend with some excellent games, stand-out individual performances and significant wins across the league. We’ll have all the wash up on ABC Sport through the week, but the footy action (and the blog) will be back on Thursday night.

Thanks for your company today and all weekend, and we hope to see you for round five.

Match report: Collingwood 11.11 (77) def Hawthorn 11.6 (72)


Collingwood’s AFL premiership defence is building steam after they withstood a late Hawthorn fightback in a tense five-point win to complete Gather Round.

Hawks recruit Jack Ginnivan kicked two goals — and won a couple of free kicks — but the Magpies had the last laugh against their departed flag forward in an 11.11 (77) to 11.6 (72) victory at Adelaide Oval on Sunday evening.

There was a downside for Craig McRae’s side, who lost veteran Scott Pendlebury to damaged ribs after a collision with Hawthorn’s Josh Weddle.

But the manner of Collingwood’s second victory of the season after three straight losses will have pleased McRae.

The Magpies’ pressure was elite in the first half when they set up their victory before they held firm in the nerve-wracking final stages.

Tom Mitchell (30 disposals, seven clearances), Nick Daicos (26, three), Josh Daicos (30, two) and Jordan De Goey (31, six) shone in the midfield while Lachie Schultz and Brody Mihocek kicked two goals apiece.

Blake Hardwick kicked a game-high four majors for Hawthorn — all in the second half — and Dylan Moore finished with three.

Moore snared the final two goals of the game to lift the Hawks back within a kick but they couldn’t find a go-ahead goal.

Jai Newcombe had 26 disposals and a career-high 10 clearances, with Karl Amon (27 touches), Jarman Impey (23) and skipper James Sicily (22, 10 intercepts) also busy.


The thilling finale to Gather Round

Breathless stuff at Adelaide Oval. A fantastic weekend of footy had a worthy climax as the Pies held on against the Hawks.

Match report: St Kilda 9.13 (67) def Richmond 9.6 (60)

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St Kilda have overcome a woeful start and then defended superbly late to beat Richmond by seven points in an absorbing AFL Gather Round clash.

The Saints repeatedly denied the Tigers in the last few minutes on Sunday at Norwood Oval, winning 9.13 (67) to 9.6 (60).

Richmond had two snaps at goal in the final 60 seconds, but they were ruled touched off the boot on video review.

In just his fourth AFL game, Saints youngster Darcy Wilson also showed great composure to execute a crucial knock-on and then a smother in defence as the Tigers were pressing.

But it was a nightmare senior debut for Richmond’s Kane McAuliffe, who came on as the sub in the third term to loud applause — only to be helped off the ground in the last quarter with an ankle injury.

Saints captain Jack Steele was mighty in the midfield with a game-high 33 possessions, while Richmond ace Shai Bolton’s four goals lit up the game and Dustin Martin had 30 disposals.


Sweet relief for Collingwood

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It’s still not fully clicking for Collingwood, but they can go to next week’s bye knowing they were a kick away from 1-4 and complete and utter disaster. At 2-3, this is still an active campaign for the Magpies — but something is going to have to change.

Collingwood were beaten in the clearances, inside 50s and contested possessions, but they did dominate the tacke count. That was McRae’s main point of emphasis last week, and I’m sure he’ll be pleased with those numbers. But that second half will be of significant concern to the Magpies.

They’ve got Port Adelaide first up after their bye, and they’ll need to be better if they are to hold up in that one.

Key Event

FT: Pies survive! The Hawks fall just short! Collingwood by five points

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Incredible, what a finish. Collingwood absolutely get away with one after stopping dead in the second half, coming so close to coughing up a 38-point lead. There were some big defensive plays at the death to keep the Hawks at bay, but Craig McRae will surely be concerned as to how it ever got so close.

Hawthorn will be heartbroken. That would have been such a special win, and they were a bounce of the ball here or a better kick inside 50 there and they absolutely could have pulled that off. Blake Hardwick’s move forward changed the game, and his energy became infectious for the rest of the team.

Jai Newcombe was utterly ferocious in the middle in that second half, as responsible as anyone for the Hawks fightback. But in the end it was all in vain, with Collingwood hanging on to their second win of 2024.

Gather Round goes out with a bang!

Collingwood enjoy some field position

But the Pies can only put one out on the full and kick a behind. It’s a five-point game.

Hawthorn get it to half-forward, less than a minute to play. Now or never.

Dylan Moore kicks another! It’s a five-point game!

My goodness, the Hawks might be pulling off something remarkable here!

Hawthorn took all the risks in that play, with Amon just punting a ball from half-back straight up the middle to nobody in particular. Chol tapped it forward, Hardwick toe-poked it out the back into space, Moore ran on to it and dribbled it home.

Could they?!?

Dylan Moore makes it a 10-point game!

Another free kick inside 50 conceded by Collingwood, and again the Hawks make them pay.

Moore was caught high by Noble and coolly snapped a critical goal for his team. It’s down to 10 points with 5:32 on the clock.

The Hawks are a real chance here.

Down to nine minutes on the clock

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Hawthorn still on top, but the scoring momentum has stalled. Collingwood have numbers back almost permanently now and the Hawks are struggling to pick out options inside 50.

But they are owning the rest of the ground, and the ball just keeps pinging back in there.

Free kick Ginnivan! And 50! Here come the Hawks!

Jack Ginnivan has spent most of this game trying to test the umpires out to see what they’re willing to give him. This time he was definitely held by Maynard while trying to run on the ball, and then Isaac Quaynor dropped the ball on the ground, gifting the 50 and goal to Ginni.

He went back to start a fight with his former teammates and ended up flat on his back, with a few Maynard fingers pointed in his face. All happening! 14 point game!

Blake Hardwick has four! What a turnaround!

Since being moved forward at half-time, Blake Hardwick has kicked four goals and hit the post once.

He just outbodied Jeremy Howe in a one-on-one marking contest and slotted a goal from 40 in the pocket. He looks like he’s played 150 AFL games in the position, and now it’s back to just 20 points.

Key Event

3QT: Pies lead cut to 25 points as Hawks fight back

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The Hawks are having a crack, and with Blake Hardwick the league’s newest gun forward they’ve managed to bring the margin back a bit in that third quarter.

But Collingwood are still relatively comfortable, and have made a habit today of responding when challenged by the Hawks. Hawthorn are going to throw everything at this last quarter, and those risks may well open the door for Collingwood to blow the margin back out.

The last quarter of Gather Round is upon us.

Blake Hardwick has three in the third! What a move!

The margin may still be 26 points, but this is looking like a genius move by Sam Mitchell. Hardwick has been Hawthorn’s most dangerous forward by a mile in this term, and he’s really making his presence felt.

Three for Blake, Hawks hanging in there.

Nick Daicos hits the scoreboard with a quick snap

Connor Nash dropped the ball under pressure at a Collingwood forward-50 stoppage, and Daicos swooped on the loose ball in the blink of an eye.

That hurts Hawthorn, who have fought hard in this third quarter for little gain.

Dylan Moore kicks another for the Hawks

And suddenly it’s a four-goal game, and not completely done and dusted.

That was a fantastic mark from a small forward, crashing through a pack to mark high above his head on a lead. He converts his good work, and Hawthorn are enjoying a really good patch here in the third.

Blake Hardwick has two! A natural forward!

All that preseason training is paying off for Hardwick. Connor Macdonald kicked the cover off that from the centre circle to find Hardwick in space out the back, which gave him the chance to kick the goal from 45 out.

It’s back to a 30-point game.

Brody Mihocek with the instant reply

The Hawks want to be aggressive in this third quarter, but a bad error from Josh Weddle in the middle of the ground quickly brings that unstuck. Weddle was just a little concerned about oncoming traffic and dropped the easy mark, and the Pies were quickly on it.

Mihocek took the strong mark inside 50 and slotted another one for the Pies.

Blake Hardwick has gone forward and goals for Hawthorn

The Hawks get the first goal of the quarter again after a bright start for the Hawthorn midfielders.

Sam Mitchell has thrown the magnets around, with Hardwick now playing forward. This was a preseason plan that has largely been abandoned in the regular season, but he’s had a quick impact with a mark and goal there.