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GAME DAY: Essendon v Hawthorn at the MCG | 3AW Radio

FULL TIME

Essendon has returned to 2017 with a bang, beating Hawthorn by 25 points.

New captain Dyson Heppell and Zach Merrett were outstanding through midfield, while Orazio Fantasia booted four goals.

Click play for the full-time wrap with Bicks and Lloydy

Click play for match highlights 

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HALF TIME 

Hawthorn leads an even contest by eight points.

The Bombers have been fierce in the contest, and have put immense pressure on the Hawks’ defenders. 

Zach Merrett already has 26 touches.

However, as champion teams do, the Hawks absorbed the pressure well.

Then late goals to Schoenmakers, Hartung, and Puopolo gave Hawthorn a half-time lead.

Click play for 3AW Football’s half-time wrap 

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Old rivals with new-look outfits will do battle in a Round 1 blockbuster.

The ‘new-look’ Bombers will feature six players returning from a season’s suspension, with prized recruit Andrew McGrath to debut as well.

Hawthorn’s revamped midfield will feature Jaeger O’Meara and Tom Mitchell, with Ty Vickery and Ricky Henderson making their first appearance in brown and gold as well.

As such, both sides are something of an unknown quantity going into 2017 – so expect the unexpected!

TODAY’S LINE-UP after STK v MELB: Matthew Lloyd, Mark Bickley, Karl Langdon, Michael Christian, and Mick Warner.

HOW TO LISTEN ONLINE

PRE-GAME: 3AW App or click here

MATCH STREAM: AFL app or website

POST-MATCH REVIEW: 3AW App or click here

BELOW: Follow live commentary highlights throughout the weekend.

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