Hawks midfielders shine in AFL
Fremantle coach Ross Lyon lamented his annihilated midfield after Hawthorn’s 56-point AFL win on Saturday at Launceston.
The Hawks kicked eight unanswered goals in the second term to set up the 17.17 (119) to 9.9 (63) win, their third-straight.
It put the side widely rated as premiership contenders back in the top eight, while Lyon was left with an almighty reality check, particularly with Fremantle’s midfield play.
“We got annihilated in the midflield, to be frank – I felt sorry for our defence,” the Dockers coach said.
Lyon was alarmed by what he saw during the opening quarter and was very animated at the first break, giving his players a sustained lecture before letting them briefly split into their line groups.
They rallied in the third term and only lost the second half by five points, but the damage was done.
“I was certainly animated and frustrated (at quarter-time) because we come here with high expectations and we got snuffed out pretty quickly,” Lyon said.
“We understand we want to be better than that.”
By contrast, Hawthorn’s performance was a vast improvement on round five, also at Launceston, when they faded horribly in the second half and lost to Sydney.
Clinton Young excelled in his 100th game and Jarryd Roughead kicked four goals.
Significantly, they were key 2008 premiership players who missed big chunks of last season through injury.
The Hawks were also without captain Luke Hodge, who is causing them concern with his knee injury, while Lance Franklin worked hard but only kicked one goal.
“We’re very mindful of Fremantle, they’ve been ticking along nicely in the west and not many sides have paid an enormous amount of attention I would suspect,” coach Alastair Clarkson said.
“We’re pleased to get that type of victory against a pretty formidable side.
“What had been very impressive in the way they’d gone about it is that they really strangled opposition sides and restricted their inside 50s and their scoring opportunities.
“So for us to get in excess of 60 inside 50s (67 to 38) and to be able to have 34 shots on goal was really pleasing for us.”
Hawthorn also lost the hitouts 52-25, thanks to giant Dockers ruckman Aaron Sandilands, but their midfielders were superb and won the clearances by a remarkable 49-23.
Another key was the outstanding second term from Hawks small forward Cyril Rioli, who laid a series of tackles and kicked two goals.
Rioli only had three possessions in the second half and the knock on him is that he is not consistent enough.
But Clarkson was pleased with his overall contribution and said his first half was “pretty special”.© AAP 2013