HAWTHORN has celebrated Alastair Clarkson's 200th game as coach in impressive style with a 20-point win over a plucky West Coast at Etihad Stadium on Friday night.
The Hawks' 19.9 (123) to 16.7 (103) win was their 11th in a row, their best winning streak since 1975, but the Eagles made them work for the victory as they put on one of their most spirited displays this season.
Five talking points: Hawthorn v West Coast
Hawthorn's win may have come at a cost
, with Paul Puopolo a late withdrawal with quad tightness, Grant Birchall eventually substituted after carrying a corked knee through much of the game and defender Josh Gibson suffering an ankle injury late in the match.
The Eagles' loss drops them from ninth on the ladder to 10th on percentage, and was soured by a second-quarter incident involving veteran Andrew Embley and an ankle injury to Shannon Hurn
Embley seems certain to come under scrutiny from the Match Review Panel after appearing to drop his knee into the chest of Hawk Ben Stratton
at the 10-minute mark of the second quarter.
Hurn injured his right ankle midway through the first quarter and took no further part in the game.
The Hawks' win was built on their clinical ball delivery to their forwards and accuracy in front of goal, which allowed them to overcome the Eagles' dominance of clearances (43-37) and inside 50s (57-49).
Jarryd Roughead and Jack Gunston were the chief destroyers inside the Hawks' forward 50, both finishing with 5.1, while Luke Breust was a good foil with three goals.
Lance Franklin waged an entertaining tussle with West Coast defender Eric Mackenzie. Mackenzie did well to hold Franklin to two goals, but the Hawk star's defensive pressure and attack on the ball was first-rate.
Hawthorn coach Alastair Clarkson said he was pleased with the win given the finals-like intensity of the Eagles, giving much of the credit for the victory to his forwards.
"Our forwards were really, really dangerous all night," Clarkson said after the match
"We did look potent once we could get it in there, but [the Eagles] were so damaging around the stoppages.
"They beat us convincingly at various stages of the game, particularly in the first and third quarters, and they gained the ascendency of the game as a result of that in those two terms.
"When we could square the ledger a little bit, we were right in the contest."
Skipper Luke Hodge was outstanding for the Hawks with 25 possessions, while Sam Mitchell and Jordan Lewis were important through the midfield.
Click here to vote for the three best Hawthorn players from the game
West Coast have been more like sparrows than Eagles for much of this season, but the pre-season premiership fancy was very good against the Hawks, becoming the first team to score over 100 points against Hawthorn this year.
Eagles coach John Worsfold said his team had put on a "pretty good performance".
The Eagles were outscored 1.4 to 6.2 in the second quarter, but Worsfold said their inability to capitalise on their first-quarter dominance of clearances (16-9) and inside 50s (21-9) had been costly.
"The second quarter … that on the scoreboard had a bigger impact because we were scoring as well (as Hawthorn) in the first quarter," Worsfold said.
"But (I was) more disappointed with how easily they scored in that first quarter."
Dean Cox was outstanding in the ruck and his stints up forward, finishing with 10 marks, including three contested.
Josh Kennedy kicked five goals to regain the lead in the Coleman Medal race with 39 majors for the season, while midfielders Scott Selwood, Luke Shuey and Matt Priddis were instrumental to the Eagles' dominance of the clearances.
Click here to vote for the three best West Coast players from the game
Hawthorn will start a strong favourite to extend its winning streak to 12 when it takes on the Brisbane Lions at Launceston's Aurora Stadium next round, with its real test likely to come in round 15 when it will try to break a 10-game losing streak against Geelong.
Luke Hodge was in everything for the Hawks on Friday night. Picture: AFL Media
HAWTHORN 6.0 12.2 16.4 19.9 (123)
WEST COAST 6.2 7.6 12.7 16.7 (103)
Roughead 5, Gunston 5, Breust 3, Franklin 2, Savage 2, Lewis, Simpkin
Kennedy 5, LeCras 2, Shuey 2, Selwood, Naitanui, Masten, Darling, Cox, Dalziell, Priddis
Roughead, Hodge, Breust, Lake, Mitchell, Franklin, Gunston
Cox, Kennedy, Selwood, Gaff, Shuey, Mackenzie
Puopolo (quad tightness) replaced in selected side by Ellis, Birchall (right knee), Gibson (left ankle)
Hurn (right ankle)
Xavier Ellis replaced Grant Birchall during the third quarter
Bradd Dalziell replaced Shannon Hurn during the second quarter
Nicholls, Meredith, Findlay
32,567 at Etihad Stadium