Attack fires AFL’s Hawks clear of Eagles

By Sam Lienert,


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    Hawthorn forwards Jarryd Roughead and Jack Gunston have booted five goals each as their side’s star-studded attack lifted the AFL’s top-placed club to victory over a dogged West Coast.

    The Hawks’ hard-fought 19.9 (123) to 16.7 (103) triumph at Etihad Stadium on Friday night gave them 11 wins straight and if they can down Brisbane in Launceston next Sunday they’ll equal the club record streak of 12 set in winning their maiden premiership in 1961.

    But Friday night’s win didn’t come easy against the ninth-placed Eagles, whose finals hopes took another hit as they fell to a 6-6 record, lost Shannon Hurn to an apparent achilles injury and could also lose veteran Andrew Embley, who dropped his knees into Ben Stratton in the second term.

    The Hawks also had their share of injuries, with Grant Birchall (knee) subbed off in the third term, fellow defender Josh Gibson (ankle) leaving the field in the last quarter and clever forward Luke Breust playing on despite damaging an ankle in the second quarter.

    The Eagles had the midfield ascendancy, with Nic Naitanui outstanding in the ruck, helping midfielders Andrew Gaff, Luke Shuey, Chris Masten, Scott Selwood and Matt Priddis all have highly-productive nights.

    West Coast dominated the centre clearances 20-9 and entered their attack six more times than the Hawks.

    But while Josh Kennedy (five goals) fired in attack for West Coast, he had little support, whereas almost everything that Hawthorn’s forwards touched turned to gold.

    Roughead shone early and Gunston throughout, while Breust (three goals) and Lance Franklin (two) were also dangerous.

    The Eagles led by two points at the first change, helped by Naitanui’s stunning first-term goal, in which he took the ball directly from a goalsquare ball-up and put it through with his left boot before he hit the ground.

    Sharpshooter Mark LeCras extended West Coast’s lead to eight points early in the second term.

    But Hawthorn booted the last six goals of the first half, including a brilliant roving effort from Breust, to lead by 26 points at the main break.

    The Eagles kicked four of the first five goals of the third term, including two to Kennedy directly from centre breaks, to narrow the margin to eight points.

    Roughead answered with his fifth from a strong mark.

    West Coast had the chance to make it closer entering the final term but a costly botched kick by Jack Darling heading into attack led to a turnover, Hawthorn goal and 21-point last-change buffer.

    The brave Eagles kept fighting in the last quarter, but the closest they got was 14 points with less than two minutes left.

    Hawks coach Alastair Clarkson said his side did well to cope with losing Paul Puopolo (quad) in the warm-up and their other injuries during the game.

    He said while their attack shone, they were thrashed in the stoppages at various times.

    But he was pleased to win a close game, as they did against Carlton last week.

    “We’ve played two sides that have been pretty desperate over the past two weeks and to not play our best footy and be challenged in both games and still get on top is really pleasing,” Clarkson said.

    He said Birchall should recover for next round but the extent of Gibson’s injury was uncertain.

    West Coast coach John Worsfold could see some positives despite the defeat.

    “There was a lot of good stuff out of tonight but it really means nothing unless we can keep building on that,” he said.

    Hurn’s injury turned out to be his ankle and it will need scans.

    © AAP 2018

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    The Crowd Says (4)

    • June 22nd 2013 @ 11:05am
      Neil said | June 22nd 2013 @ 11:05am | ! Report

      I don’t know why you bothered to mention Andrew Embley, I saw the incident you mention and there didn’t appear to be anything much in it. Because Ben Stratton was lying on the ground it was necessary for Embley to squat in order to apply the tackle and so perhaps his knee touched the chest of Stratton. And then there was an open hand applied which was something less than a slap on the face, not really worth me mentioning. I expect to see Embley playing next week.

      Well done Hawthorn.

      • June 22nd 2013 @ 12:02pm
        Gippy said | June 22nd 2013 @ 12:02pm | ! Report

        There must have been a second incident. The one I saw didn’t look at all like the one you describe. I’d say Embley is in a certain amount of trouble. I waited for Hawthorn to apply the ‘evener-up’, but they refrained. As you say, “Well done, Hawthorn”.

    • June 22nd 2013 @ 5:39pm
      Lroy said | June 22nd 2013 @ 5:39pm | ! Report

      Great game of footy, Eagles came out like men possesed, seemed to be doing well statistically, but Hawks always in front on the scoreboard.

      Eagles have to begin to look at guys like Masten and Rosa.. what do they bring to the party? They get a couple of kicks here and there, but dont dominate, rarely win the one on one duels… most times they just turn the ball over.

      McGinnity is another one, makes a few tackles, ok, but doesnt hurt the opposition offensively….

      Then theres Priddis.. the junk possesion king who gets lots of stats every week… last night at a crucial time, he plays on.. handballs to a guy 2 feet a way hoping to get the easy 1 -2 handball receives (another stat) but the Hawks man on the mark makes a great tackle and forces a turnover…..

      Fark.. you are not going to win the big games if you have more than half your midfield just going through the motions.

      We won the 2006 flag because Rosa wasnt in the side!!! What has he done against the gun sides that warrants his place week in week out? Actually, you could say this about all 4 of them.. cometh the hour against talented and tough opposition, what have any of these guys done in the big games?

    • June 24th 2013 @ 1:06pm
      Mango Jack said | June 24th 2013 @ 1:06pm | ! Report

      Buddy didn’t bother the scorers much, but his tackling was excellent. He laid on some rippers.

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