Mitchell sets AFL record in Hawks win

Star Hawthorn midfielder Tom Mitchell has broken the AFL's game disposals record in their 34-point win over Collingwood at the MCG.

Hawks fans cheered late in the last quarter on Saturday night when Mitchell picked up a handball, giving him 54 disposals in the 15.11 (101) to 9.13 (67) win.

That broke the record jointly held by Gary Ablett jnr at Gold Coast and Greg Williams when he played for Sydney.

The Magpies stopped a blowout, with two goals apiece in the last quarter but Hawthorn's class stood out.

Collingwood have now lost their past three round-one games and the spotlight shines that bit brighter on coach Nathan Buckley, who was reappointed late last year.

Plenty of this. Pic: Getty

In round nine last year, Mitchell had 50 possessions in the loss to Collingwood and Buckley questioned his impact on the game.

There was no argument this time about Mitchell's impact.

Indeed, Hawks coach Alastair Clarkson hopes his midfielders will share the load more evenly.

"He played a first-class game but having said that ... we'd prefer he wasn't getting 50 touches," Clarkson said.

"But how can you tell a bloke not to go and get the footy?"

Collingwood sent Taylor Adams, Steele Sidebottom and Jack Crisp to Mitchell but he was unstoppable.

"He's probably one of the cleanest handlers of the ball in the 'shoe box', the first 5-10m, and he's proving to be a really good spreader to the next contest," Buckley said.

"We tried to curb his influence."

By contrast, Collingwood tall forward Mason Cox had a dirty night and he is also in major match review trouble after his elbow caught Daniel Howe high during the third quarter.

"It is a real test of character now - of ours and of his - how does he respond to that?" Buckley said of Cox's poor game.

"He's had a bad night."

The Hawks lost Ryan Burton with an ankle injury during the second term and he is in doubt for their Easter Monday blockbuster against Geelong.

Clarkson said it was a typical round-one clash with plenty of errors and that their scoring burst in the second term proved crucial.

Collingwood had their chances in the last term but again misfired in attack and could only manage 2.7.

Their night was summed up when Josh Smith looked like kicking a big goal in the last term, only for Tom Phillips to fumble the ball on the goal line.

"We had the personnel to be able to get the result and I thought the last quarter showed that," Buckley said.

"We couldn't have played more poorly in larger chunks or had less contributors and yet still be in the game.

"It was just a comedy of errors.

"That (the Phillips fumble) just happened for us all night ... we've let one slip."

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