There was such a positive reaction to the series of comprehensive meta-reviews of the eighteen AFL clubs’ 2018 seasons that the temptation to follow up with a quick preview of their 2019 seasons was too much to resist.
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Hawthorn have overcome errant kicking and a sluggish start to beat Gold Coast by 53 points in their AFL clash in Launceston.
The Hawks trailed by nine points at quarter-time but did enough to beat the fading Suns 13.18 (96) to 5.13 (43) on Saturday in front of 9007 fans.
Hawthorn’s third-straight victory keeps them in the top-eight mix, while the battling Suns have lost eight in a row.
“We got jumped a little bit at the start,” Hawks coach Alastair Clarkson admitted.
“It was a tough game of footy. At no stage was there any real flow in the game, except perhaps late when we got two or three goals that made it look like it was a big margin.”
Both teams sprayed countless set shots throughout the afternoon, including several from in front.
Jack Gunston kicked three goals after copping a hit below the belt during warm-up and a calf cork early on, while Liam Shiels finished with a game-high 33 touches.
Veteran Shaun Burgoyne sat out the last quarter with ice on his troublesome hamstring but Clarkson said it was precautionary.
“He complained about being a bit sore and tired,” Clarkson said.
“There was no point taking a risk with him. We’ll monitor it during the early part of next week.”
Despite the final margin, the Suns dominated territory early, with talls Tom Lynch and Peter Wright combining for three opening-term goals.
But it went pear-shaped for Gold Coast, who only scored 0.5 in the middle quarters.
Coach Stuart Dew was able to find some positives after last week’s narrow loss to St Kilda.
“Our boys had a crack. We were really beaten by some outside class in the end,” he said.
“We had our looks but weren’t able to capitalise.
“I think they kept their feet better and were stronger in the tackles as well.”
Hawthorn took a 37-24 lead into halftime, punctuated just before the break by a high-flying grab from Taylor Duryea.
In line with the theme of the day, he kicked a behind.
The Suns rallied late in the third quarter but squandered their chances, missing three kickable set shots in a row.
Hawthorn found their radar in the dying stages, with skipper Jarryd Roughead icing the win with a major from the final kick of the day.