Nearly four months since the state’s last AFL game, Western Australia will reopen its doors to football being played with two matches this weekend.
Hawthorn coach Alastair Clarkson now wants consistency from his side after they kept their AFL top-eight hopes alive with a gritty 31-point win over Fremantle in Launceston.
The Hawks fended off a Nat Fyfe-inspired comeback from the Dockers, who conceded the first five goals in a low-scoring clash on Saturday afternoon.
They rallied to get within a point midway through the third quarter before Hawthorn ran away with a 12.12 (84) to 8.5 (53) victory.
Youngster Mitchell Lewis kicked three goals for Hawthorn, including two back-to-back at a crucial juncture late in the third term.
It opened a 62-41 lead heading into the final quarter, from where the Hawks shut down the game.
Luke Bruest also snared three majors and Chad Wingard two, while James Worpel finished with a team-high 33 possessions.
After back-to-back victories, Hawthorn has joined Fremantle on the fringe of the top eight with 28 competition points.
“We haven’t won two games in a row for the year and I hope we don’t just stop at that,” coach Alastair Clarkson said.
“We’ve got an opportunity against the Cats next week to get ourselves a bit of momentum.
“We’ve been inconsistent ourselves (but) our last three weeks have been pretty good.”
Fyfe single-handedly lifted Fremantle in the contest with a three-goal burst in the second term after going off earlier in the quarter for treatment on his right shoulder.
He returned from the sheds with strapping and picked up 11 disposals, five tackles and two clearances for the quarter.Buoyed by their skipper’s effort, Fremantle went on a run of five goals either side of halftime until Lewis pushed Hawthorn ahead.
“I’m really disappointed. We came down with a purpose. I thought we were well in the game,” said coach Ross Lyon, whose side’s final aspirations took a hit.
As was the case in their heavy loss to West Coast last round, the Dockers had the yips in front of goal and missed their only three set shots in the opening quarter to trail 19-3 at the first break.
“The ability to gain entries with possession was strong but our ability to finish was poor, again,” Lyon said.
“It’s becoming a pattern that early in the year we thought we got on top of.”
Bradley Hill was heavily involved with a game-high 37 touches for Fremantle, whose dismal record at University of Tasmania Stadium grew to 12 losses and just one win.