Two of the greatest forwards of the 21st century shared a touching moment after what might have been their last game AFL compete against each other.
The veteran couple, who will both turn 35 this year, got together after the final siren to swap their own autographed sweaters midway through the MCG.
WATCH THE VIDEO ABOVE: Jack Riewoldt and Tom Hawkins swap sweaters after the AFL clash.
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“Lovely moment in the middle of the MCG,” James Brayshaw said in the comment.
“The careers of these two guys went hand in hand forever. And now they swap sweaters and pull out the pen (to sign them).”
Richmond champion Matthew Richardson added: “Two Hall of Famers right there. They board directly if they are eligible.
“Both could end up scoring over 800 goals. I think Riewoldt is at 771 and Hawkins is not far behind. You go straight into the Hall of Fame.”
Riewoldt and Hawkins’ careers have broadly resembled each other for a decade and a half, both winning Coleman medals and All-Australians.
Hawkins’ three goals and Riewoldt’s two during the Tigers’ tremendous upset against the Cats on Friday night put them at 758 and 771, respectively.
But it was a total of seven goals from Trent Cotchin and Dustin Martin that helped Richmond start the AFL season in a surprise 24-point win over Geelong.
The Tigers played six majors in their best opening quarter of the year and kept the Cats at bay to claim a 16.6 (102) to 11.12 (78) win at the MCG on Friday night.
Richmond (3-1-5) have now won their first straight game in 2023 after ending a five-game losing streak in Round 8.
But the recent triumph came at a price: midfielder Jacob Hopper had to be substituted in the third quarter due to a muscle injury in his left calf.
Cotchin returned from a week’s hiatus with the Tigers and scored three goals in his highest tally in seven years, making an important contribution as a centre-forward.
Martin had four of 19 touches and Tim Taranto again starred with 28 dismounts, 12 tackles and six clearances.
Jayden Short (26 touches), Liam Baker (21) and Daniel Rioli (23) were all busy while Dion Prestia celebrated his 200th game with 19 discards and a goal in style.
Tom Stewart was jeered and booed by a group of Tigers fans in the 58,141 crowd, still furious that the Geelong star flattened Dion Prestia in an ugly incident 11 months ago.
The Cats’ backup captain took over in the absence of injured captain Patrick Dangerfield and notched 24 disposals in a solid performance.
But Geelong lacked the spark as Dangerfield was one of eight Premier players absent through injury or suspension and suffered their first defeat since round three.
Hawkins had three goals from 11 dismounts and two assists in a tough battle with Richmond defender Noah Balta (17 touches, 11 intercepts).
Isaac Smith had 23 knockdowns and scored a brilliant goal at the borderline in the second quarter.
Richmond fielded more Premier players than Geelong – 15 to 14 – despite the last flag coming three years ago.
Friday night’s result was the Tigers’ first win over the Cats since the 2020 grand final.
– With AAP