Sizzling Saints snatch Hawks' first-half hope
Saints opened their season with a gutsy defeat of Manunda on a slippery night at Cazalys', starting strongly and slowly building the lead to finish 47-point victors.
Five unanswered goals in the first term proved deadly for the Hawks, who scrapped hard in the second and third quarters but were unable to make up any considerable ground.
Saints' inaccuracy meant they missed their chance to really push away, but a 10.15(75) to 4.4(28) guaranteed they sung the club song with gusto late on Thursday.
Matt Walsh, who booted an AFL Cairns record 129 goals in the regular season last year, started sharply again with the first two majors but his impact on the game slowed as conditions deteriorated.
Three goals in quick success to the Hawks prior to the main break gave them hope, with nimble Harry Hutchison fighting bravely on the left flank to effect several turnovers. Slowly, they got themselves into the contest and started winning more contested ball, but they could not build on that momentum in the second half as the Saints wrestled back control and the midfield mounted charge after charge.
Sam Harkin and Brenton Powell were both on top form for Saints.
Reserves: Saints 11.8(74) def Hawks 6.3(39). Seniors: Saints 10.15(75 def Hawks 4.4(28)