West Coast v Hawthorn
The Eagles and Hawks battle for round two honours at Patersons Stadium
LANCE Franklin and Cyril Rioli combined for nine goals to guide Hawthorn to a convincing 50-point victory over West Coast in Sunday's clash at Patersons Stadium.
Hawthorn, coming off a six-day break and playing in 32-degree heat, looked vulnerable when West Coast closed the margin to 19 points at the final change.
But the Hawks flexed their muscle when it mattered most, slamming home eight goals to three in the last quarter to storm to a 23.10 (148) to 15.8 (98) victory.
Franklin booted five goals and Rioli finished with four, while Luke Breust (four goals), Grant Birchall, Luke Hodge and Sam Mitchell were also key contributors.
"We knew it was going to be a tough game, particularly because of the conditions and different size of oval here over in the west and we're pretty happy with the win," Hawthorn coach Alastair Clarkson said post-match.
Hawthorn skipper Hodge, in his first match of the season, tallied 25 disposals in defence and played out the entire match.
Weary Hawks find legs to win
The Eagles were well served by Josh Kennedy (five goals) and midfielders Chris Masten and Matt Priddis.
But with ruckman Nic Naitanui, forward Mark LeCras, Sharrod Wellingham and Matt Rosa still sidelined, the Eagles look a shadow of the team that started the season as genuine premiership fancies.
Eagles fail inside job
West Coast are now 0-2, but should notch their first win of the season next week when they take on struggling Melbourne at the MCG on Saturday.
Hawk forwards Lance Franklin (l) and Jarryd Roughead celebrate a goal during Sunday's big win. Picture: AFL Media
The Eagles were shell-shocked early as Hawthorn raced out to a 39-point lead in the second quarter.
"Their ability to win the footy, go forward, and get it inside 50 compared to ours was the difference," West Coast coach John Worsfold said.
Big guns Rioli, Franklin and Jarryd Roughead were all prominent in front of goal, but it was West Coast's lack of pressure through the midfield that handed the ascendancy to the visitors.
It took until midway through the second quarter for West Coast to finally hit its straps, and the Eagles made the most of the momentum switch to slam on four unanswered goals within the space of five minutes.
Kennedy and Jack Darling were influential during the onslaught as Hawthorn's lead was whittled down to 14 points, but late goals to Breust and Roughead eased the pressure on the visitors.
"For our guys to steady and just withstand those challenges at difference courses of the game are really important to us," Clarkson said.
Hawthorn was back in the box seat after kicking the opening two goals of the third quarter.
But once again West Coast fought back, closing to 19 points at the final change.
The Hawks coughed up a 30-point lead in their loss to Geelong on Monday, but they dug deep to ensure history wouldn't repeat.
West Coast should have finished the stronger in the final term given they had 15 days to prepare for the match, but it was Hawthorn which powered home to notch its first win of the year.
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WEST COAST 1.3 6.6 12.6 15.8 (98)
HAWTHORN 6.1 11.2 15.7 23.10 (148)
Kennedy 5, J Hill 3, Darling 3, Cripps, Embley, Sinclair, Gaff
Rioli 4, Breust 4, Roughead 2, Birchall 2, Hale 2, B Hill 2, Burgoyne, Smith
Masten, Priddis, Hill, Shuey, Kennedy
Mitchell, Hodge, Rioli, Schoenmakers, Gibson, Birchall, Breust
Sewell (hamstring), Gunston (ill) replaced in selected side by Savage
Bradd Dalziell replaced Ashton Hams during the third quarter
Shane Savage replaced Brad Sewell during the third quarter
Margetts, Dalgleish, Rosebury
38,389 at Patersons Stadium