AFL: Remember what happened when these guys met last year? Well, it was on even before the ball had even been bounced.
NORTH Melbourne hard nut Jack Ziebell has made an early statement against Hawthorn by flattening Sam Mitchell in the opening minutes of Friday night’s clash at Etihad Stadium.
In an incident to be scrutinised by the Match Review Panel on Monday, Ziebell bumped into Mitchell late, after the four-time premiership Hawk marked in defence.
The Kangaroos midfielder appeared to take Mitchell high with a combination of his forearm and shoulder.
Fair hit? Ziebell with the bump on Mitchell further sparking tensions at Etihad. Tune in NOW. #AFLNorthHawks https://t.co/mmITSsgzAT
— AFL on 7 (@7AFL) June 17, 2016
Former Geelong captain Cameron Ling said the hit was “very late”, while Essendon great Tim Watson questioned whether the hit was high enough to constitute a report.
“It’s close to being too high,” he said during commentary with Channel 7. “It’s right on the boundary of being too high.
“I reckon most of that went across his chest.”
Mitchell received a 50m penalty and did not leave the field as a result of the hit but checked his mouth for blood.
North Melbourne appeared keen to make a statement against the triple reigning premiers, with plenty of push and shove before the first bounce and in the aftermath of the Ziebell hit.
Michael Firrito also bumped Isaac Smith to the ground after the Hawk midfielder disposed of the ball.
Firrito was involved again in a scuffle with Cyril Rioli after the quarter time siren.
There is no love lost between the two teams, with Friday night’s fiery start to the game a flashback to last year’s contest when Hawks Luke Hodge and Jordan Lewis were suspended for striking in separate incidents.
Hodge copped a three-match ban for elbowing Andrew Swallow, while Lewis served two matches for striking Todd Goldstein.
In 2014, Hawthorn full back Brian Lake found himself in trouble with the AFL tribunal after grabbing Kangaroos forward Drew Petrie in a chokehold.
WOW!!! Now I miss footy! #AFLNorthHawks
— Brian Lake (@BrianLake17) June 17, 2016
Now this is footy! #AFLNorthHawks
— Mitch Robinson (@MitchRobinson05) June 17, 2016
Like to see @NMFCOfficial play like this every week. Aggressive, confrontational #onedge
— Swatta (@WayneSchwass) June 17, 2016
Hard to remember a more eventful first half. Four umps, but probably need 8 to see everything. #AFLNorthHawks
— Sam Edmund (@SammyHeraldSun) June 17, 2016