Proud Bolton happy with Hawks effort

Hawthorn players post-match. Picture: Mark Jesser.
Hawthorn players post-match. Picture: Mark Jesser.

HAWTHORN stand-in coach Brendon Bolton was a proud man last night following the Hawks' 65-point win over North Melbourne.

Bolton said a selfless attitude, combined with strong pressure had allowed the reigning premier to start the season with two crushing wins, with last biggt's effort following the 131-point win over Brisbane.

"We're looking at it as an opportunity to refine our game plan and part of that is defensive pressure," Bolton said.

The Tasmanian said the performances of Will Langford, who dangerous in the middle and attack, and Tim O'Brien up front and the run of Derick Wanganeen were most heartening.

He said Cyril Rioli playing off half-back, where he collected 20 touches, was an experiment that could continue into the home and away season.

"The NAB gives you an opportunity to see if something exciting bobs up, and it is exciting to see, so what it gives us confidence if we have to it during the year," he said.

"It has opened up our eyes that he can play there if needed."

North Melbourne coach Brad Scott lamented North's inability to win enough of the inside ball to make it a contest, an area they are usually so strong at.

He admitted father-son pick Luke McDonald would be hard to keep out of the team for round 1, while Aaron Black was a "lone hand" in attack.

"I think the intensity of our forwards was OK, and 35 inside 50s doesn't give you a lot of evidence to look at it," Scott said.

"We're trying to look at different structures and different systems, so it was hard to judge the forward line as a system, but Blacky is a really capable player and he showed that today."

Veteran Brent Harvey was rested from the game, with Scott confirming he wasn't injured.

Both teams have one more practice game before round 1 to fine- tune their preparations for the season proper.


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