Pure class after star’s family heartbreak
Tom Hawkins destroyed Port Adelaide on the field but he saved his classiest effort for after full-time.
The Geelong forward booted six goals in the Cats' 14.7 (91) to 4.7 (31) demolition of the Power at Metricon Stadium on Friday night but he had the presence of mind after the final siren to point out there are far more important things than footy.
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The tragedy comes after the Ablett family announced last month their 18-month-old son Levi was diagnosed with a rare and degenerative disease.
Ablett left the Cats bubble last month to be with his family and the team wore black armbands last night.
Speaking to Channel 7 in his on-field interview after Geelong's win, Hawkins took the initiative.
"Can I just say a couple of things. I just wanted to say to Gary and Jordan Ablett, myself and the footy club are really thinking of you guys at the moment," Hawkins said.
It was all class from a player who had every right to be fully focused on his own form after a breathtaking six-goal haul that left commentators in awe.
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"It was the most imposing forward game we've seen, dare I say, since we saw you two playing," Melbourne legend Garry Lyon told Fox Footy in a conversation with Brisbane legend Jonathan Brown and Saints champion Nick Riewoldt.
"Tom Hawkins played the best game of any player this season, according to any other measure you want to look at.
"He monstered anyone that came within 20m of him."
Brown responded: "It was the most imposing game of anyone this year.
"We haven't seen dominance like that from a key forward for a few years."
Geelong coach Chris Scott was also full of praise for the 32-year-old Hawkins.
"In the last year or so, I think he's in the best shape that I've seen him in," Scott said. "Age is probably not a relevant factor but it's the shape he's got himself in.
"He's laboured with certain injuries in different times through his career but he's worked his way through it to become a true pro.
"He leads a pretty young and inexperienced forward line for us really well and he's been an important player for us for a long time.
"I've always got a bias towards the present but I can't imagine him playing much better (than he is now)."
Originally published as Pure class after star's family heartbreak