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Winless Hawks still hungry, says skipper

Football

Hawthorn skipper Jarryd Roughead has hit back at claims his teammates have lost the hunger for success after the Hawks slumped to a 0-4 start to the season.

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Alastair Clarkson’s side suffered a second 86-point loss in succession on Easter Monday when Geelong romped home at the MCG.

The loss left Hawthorn, three-time premiership winners in the past four years, anchored to the bottom of the AFL ladder with a percentage of just 56.

“I still think the hunger is there,” Roughead told Fox Footy’s On The Couch.

“We got three or four blokes in from other clubs who want to be successful. It’s not just a matter of thinking ‘Oh well, we’ve done that and we’ll just let these guys take over’.

“These guys have come to the footy club because they want to be part of a successful club and I want that to still happen.

“Hopefully I’m still three or four years away from finishing and I don’t want to keep going like this.”

The Hawks controversially traded out respected veterans Sam Mitchell and Jordan Lewis at the end of last season, while bringing in Tom Mithcell, Jaeger O’Meara, Ricky Henderson and Ty Vickery.

Roughead conceded the departures of Mitchell and Lewis would continue to be a talking point while the team struggled, but denied the moves were at the heart of the problem.

The skipper disagreed that the club was in the early stages of an extensive list rebuild.

“I think we’ve got the group that can do this,” he said.

“We’ve got eight or nine All Australians on our list, so it’s not as if we’re a poor list that’s going through a big change.

“It’s just a matter of investing back into the footy club because it’s a pretty good football club to be at.

“We’re not that far away … errors are costing us and it shows within games.

“It’s a matter of sticking fat and working hard on the training track.”

Meanwhile, Hawthorn’s year could get worse with the match review panel to scrutinise defender Josh Gibson’s bump on Geelong’s Tom Ruggles in yesterday’s game.

The Hawks veteran laid a hard shepherd on Ruggles that allowed Isaac Smith to break clear in the second quarter of the Easter Monday encounter at the MCG.

But the pair clashed heads during the contact with Ruggles unable to return to the game.

Gibson emerged after halftime with a bandage around his head.

The Cats will also be sweating on the outcome of the MRP’s assessment of their 86-point win with Sam Menegola and James Parsons reported.

Parsons, an elevated rookie, playing in just his second AFL game, was reported for striking Hawthorn’s Luke Hodge.

The Cats’ midfielder collected Hodge with an elbow to the jaw in an ugly last-quarter incident.

While admitting his player would likely be suspended, Geelong coach Chris Scott attempted to defend his actions.

“It’s a technical deficiency … I’ve got absolutely no qualms about his intent,” Scott told Fox Footy’s AFL 360.

“He’s not the sort of player who would deliberately go out to do that – it’s clearly a technical thing.

“It is an awkward feeling when you’ve decided that you’e not going to tackle but then you’re clearly wrong-footed and you’re stretching to make contact.

“When you’re going in to bump and you think you’re going to make contact cleanly then you’re a little bit wrong-footed you tend to reach and it’s easy for the elbow to come up.

“He’s going to pay a price but we’ve just got to make sure that he’s better for it longer term.”

Menegola was reported for rough conduct for his sling tackle on Hodge in the second quarter.

The MRP assessed the first eight games of round four on Monday and cleared North Melbourne captain Jack Ziebell over his bump on Travis Cloke.

Cloke will be sidelined for four to six weeks after suffering broken ribs as a result of the collision during the fourth quarter of the inaugural Good Friday game.

The review panel deemed Ziebell’s bump as “not unreasonable”.

Essendon defender Conor McKenna will miss the Anzac Day blockbuster against Collingwood after accepting a one-game AFL ban.

The 21-year-old has elected not to challenge his suspension for a high bump on Adelaide youngster Riley Knight.

Greater Western Sydney star Tony Greene accepted a $1000 fine for striking Port’s Dan Houston, as did West Coast forward Mark LeCras for rough conduct on Sydney’s Aliir Aliir.

– AAP

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