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Worpel the star in Hawks’ upset of Crows

March 23, 2019 7:40 pm in by

Hawthorn midfielder James Worpel has orchestrated a 32-point away thumping of Adelaide in Saturday’s AFL twilight game.

Worpel gathered 27 disposals and kicked two goals in the Hawks’ 12.15 (87) to 7.13 (55) victory at Adelaide Oval.

The Crows are expected to lose defender of Tom Doedee for the season after the influential defender suffered a suspected torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee.

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And veteran Adelaide utility Richard Douglas limped off with a leg injury in the final term.

The injuries came as Worpel delivered early evidence he will go some way to covering the midfield void caused by Brownlow medallist Tom Mitchell’s broken leg.

Worpel’s teammate Ben McEvoy ruled the rucks and James Sicily helped control Adelaide’s potent-on-paper attack as Taylor Walker, Josh Jenkins and Tom Lynch were kept goalless.

Sicily collected 26 touches and took 10 marks while eight-gamer James Cousins and Jaeger O’Meara (24 disposals) kicked two goals each.

On-ballers Liam Shiel and Blake Hardwick, with 22 disposals apiece, combined with Worpel and O’Meara to provide a dominance around the packs.

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Worpel was superb, with six centre clearances, a team-high dozen contested possessions plus a momentum-setting goal early in the third term.

The game hung in the balance at halftime, with the Hawks nine points up, before Worpel kicked a goal within a minute to trigger a match-defining period.

Hawthorn booted three goals to none for the quarter as they opened a 34-point lead to stunn Adelaide’s 50,180-strong crowd.

The visitors applied immense pressure against the jittery Crows, who were well- served by Matt Crouch (39 touches, one goal), co-captain Rory Sloane (36 disposals, one goal) and Brad Crouch, who slotted two goals among his 28 possessions.

Star goalsneak Eddie Betts also kicked two goals but was well-held by Hawthorn skipper Ben Stratton.

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In round two, the Crows travel to play Sydney on Friday night while Hawthorn host the Western Bulldogs at the MCG next Sunday.

© AAP 2019

HAWTHORN 2.4 6.7 9.14 12.15 (87)

ADELAIDE 1.2 5.4 5.6 7.13 (55)

Goals: Hawthorn: B McEvoy 2 J Cousins 2 J O’Meara 2 J Worpel 2 I Smith J Gunston L Breust L Shiels. Adelaide: B Crouch 2 E Betts 2 C Jones M Crouch R Sloane.

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Umpires: Ray Chamberlain, Nicholas Foot, Andre Gianfagna.

Official Crowd: 50,180 at Adelaide Oval.

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