Hawks coach Sam Mitchell destroys Jack Scrimshaw over kicking error

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In his third season as an AFL head coach, Hawthorn’s Sam Mitchell is still struggling to get his message through to some of his players.

And he doesn’t appear to be taking it too well, judging by his reaction to an error in the Hawks’ heavy 18.10 (118) to 5.12 (42) defeat to Sydney.

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After one quarter of Sunday’s clash with the high-flying Swans at the MCG, the Hawks were already trailing by 25 points as the underdogs sought just their second win of 2024.

As the term ended, Mitchell was shown slamming his fist into a table in the coach’s box before heading down to talk to his players on the field.

The 41-year-old then made a beeline for Hawthorn defender Jack Scrimshaw, who had produced a costly turnover right before quarter-time.

With 45 seconds left on the clock, having taken a mark on the wing, Scrimshaw sent a long kick towards Jack Ginnivan, who was well covered by Swan Ollie Florent.

Sydney ultimately won the ball back and moved it up the field, with Tom Papley taking a mark and kicking truly after the siren.

Mitchell confronted the 90-game defender and appeared to drop a number of F-bombs in his direction as he thrust his iPad towards him to make his point.

The coach was asked what he’d said to Scrimshaw at quarter-time by Fox Footy.

“Just that we’re past that,” the Brownlow medallist said of the decision-making error.

“We conceded three goals really quickly, then we’re going for big, risky kicks when the instruction was the opposite.”

Richmond great Jack Riewoldt called Mitchell “a scary prospect” as his interaction with Scrimshaw was replayed.

The point was also noted by Herald Sun journalist Jon Ralph, who tweeted: “Fire and brimstone from Sam Mitchell. Absolutely furious Jack Scrimshaw turned the ball over late to cost the Hawks. Went straight to him at the 1/4 time break to rip into him.”

On a day retired champion Buddy Franklin was celebrated by both clubs at the MCG, the Swans were far too strong for the Hawks in the end, winning every quarter en route to the 76-point thrashing that elevated Sydney back to second on the ladder.

Fans on X made their feelings clear on the Mitchell-Scrimshaw moment.

“You can’t demand perfection from average players,” was one comment.

“So basically the players aren’t trusting the coaches instructions. This won’t end well,” suggested another.

“Players never respond well with this kind of attitude from a coach. Yelling and swearing at them won’t help their cause,” wrote a third.

“They’re not f**king 10 years old, they’re grown men on hundreds of thousands of dollars a year. Can speak to them how ever he wants,” replied a fourth.

Sydney superstar Isaac Heeney may well have extended his early lead in the Brownlow Medal with another superb performance in the match.

Heeney was in the thick of the action in the decisive first half and finished with 21 disposals and three goals.

The big victory resulted in the visitors increasing their percentage from 135.3 to 147.7 ahead of a blockbuster local derby with third-placed GWS at the SCG next weekend.

Mitchell had hoped his side had gone past these kinds of performances, but to his horror, the Hawks’ average losing margin this year is now 42 points.

– with NCA Newswire

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