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Bronx cheers for Buddy disappointing: Lewis

Mark Macgugan  May 27, 2013 1:40 PM

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Lance Franklin struggled in the first half of the clash with the Suns

HAWTHORN vice-captain Jordan Lewis has criticised the club's fans for their treatment of star forward Lance Franklin at the MCG on Sunday.

Goalless until late in the second quarter and playing below his best, Franklin was Bronx cheered by Hawks supporters when he took a mark and booted his first goal just before half-time.

Lewis was unimpressed with the reaction from the stands.

"No-one goes out there to drop marks, or have the ball bounce the other way," the midfielder told AFL.com.au on Monday.

Watch the moment when Hawthorn fans turn on their star forward

"I was pretty disappointed in the Hawks fans for that.

"They probably have high expectations of him, as Buddy has high expectations of himself, but I thought it was a bit poor."

The four-time All Australian was back in favour with the brown-and-gold faithful after half-time, finishing with a team-high five goals to go with 21 disposals as the Hawks overcame a 17-point third quarter deficit to win by 26 points.

"Champion players have bad quarters and maybe bad halves, but they rarely have bad games," Lewis said.

"He finished with five goals, but there's the other side of his game as well - he handed off a few, and really created a pivotal point where people draw to him and others get benefits from that."

Lewis' teammate, wingman Isaac Smith, said a stern half-time reminder from coach Alastair Clarkson about the importance of Indigenous Round had spurred the Hawks' second half improvement.

With 177-game premiership hero Chance Bateman, in his first year of retirement, a special guest of the club for the match, plus seven indigenous players on its 2013 list, Smith said Clarkson's half-time message was about respect.

"Because it was Indigenous Round, we put a fair bit of emphasis on that, and they (the coaches) were pretty disappointed with the first half," Smith told media at Waverley.

"We didn't show a hell of a lot of respect to the indigenous boys at the club.

"Our effort wasn't there, and the way we went away from our game-plan, just over-using the ball, it wasn't showing respect to them."

Lewis said Clarkson had been justifiably "fired up" at the main break.

"We probably went away from a few of the things we've prided ourselves on this year, especially in that first half," he said.

"It felt like all their goals were quite easy; there was no pressure.

"We came in at half-time and Clarko went off, quite rightly.

"He was pretty disappointed about the way we'd played, as the players were, so it was right for him to be pretty fired up.

"He put it on a few players, and those players responded in the second half."

Both Smith and Lewis credited Gold Coast with playing well, and their own team for responding when needed.

But Smith said there would be a strong focus on playing with intensity for the entire game this weekend, which does not bode well for struggling opponent Melbourne.

"We've got to come out and play four quarters of footy," he said.

"We probably haven't done that yet this year.

"I reckon in pretty much every week we've let ourselves down with a patch somewhere within the game."