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Battle of the feathers no contest as Hawks cruise past Eagles

Highlights: Hawthorn v West Coast The Hawks and Eagles clash in round 12
Jarryd Roughead of the Hawks in action during the 2014 AFL Round 12 match between the Hawthorn Hawks and the West Coast Eagles at Aurora Stadium, Launceston on June 07, 2014. (Photo: Sean Garnsworthy/AFL Media)
Jarryd Roughead dominated a number of Eagles defenders to the tune of eight goals
HAWTHORN has shrugged off a lengthy injury list to comfortably outclass West Coast by 44 points at Aurora Stadium.

In the Launceston sunshine, Jarryd Roughead had a picnic, feasting on a slew of Eagles defenders and dominating each of them to the tune of eight goals, an equal career-best.

Five talking points: Hawthorn v West Coast

West Coast was more than competitive in the early skirmishes and led by a goal at quarter time but their continued inability to create chances for their besieged forwards proved costly, and they simply didn't have a target of Roughead's stature.

The premiers responded strongly, with Roughead kicking four second-quarter goals on the way to the big forward equalling his highest goal tally, set against Carlton in 2009.

"(He is a) very proud person (who) wasn’t happy with how he performed last week," stand-in coach Brendon Bolton said of his spearhead after the game. "He’s kicked eight goals and also laid some really good tackles.

“The mix of pressure and being able to score is really important for us and it just shows the character of the man.”

Also showing plenty of spirit was 23-year-old Luke Lowden, who finally broke through for his first AFL start in his sixth season at the club.

“Isn’t that exciting for a young bloke?” Bolton said.

“He arrived in 2009 weighing somewhere between 75 and 80 kilograms, so he worked hard to build his frame. Our club has had to be patient and wait because bigger blokes take time, and against two quality ruckmen he held his own.

“It’s a good story. That’s what footy’s about, isn’t it? People get opportunities and they step up and they have to.”

Jack Gunston also played a smart supporting hand of three majors.

As opposed to last week's nervy win over the Giants, the Hawks showed their best in patches, with trademark fast movement and sharp kicking.

It was two spells that signalled death for the Eagles - five goals straight at both the end of the second and third terms.

“When the game gets played in their half as it clearly was after that period of time, I’d say it’s a matter of time," Eagles coach Adam Simpson said in summing up the costly lapse by his team. "They know how, when they smell blood, they can destroy you.

“I don’t want to compare leaders, but they clearly had an impact on the game. I can’t wait for two or three of our leaders to stand up and match them, it’s a collective responsibility."

Simpson admitted there is plenty of work to be done on the training track if their season is to recover.

“We’re just going to concentrate on the fundamentals,” he said. “It might sound really boring but we just need to get that right.

“Turn up with the intent we did today… that’s the minimum. The game itself, in terms of the fundamentals, that’s the next step.”

The second half was much flatter, with the exception of 10 scintillating minutes.

The Hawks again kicked into gear with five goals in the third term to put the game out of West Coast's reach.

Fittingly it was Roughead who finished the rout with a late crumbing effort.

Luke Hodge (28 disposals) was his brilliant self for the Hawks, leading wave after wave of attack while Jordan Lewis (30) and Isaac Smith (24) were also impressive.

Cyril Rioli avoided the green vest to play three solid quarters for Hawthorn before being subbed off with a term to play but his replacement, Billy Hartung, suffered a hyper-extended elbow in the final quarter.

The Eagles had plenty of accumulators, such as Andrew Gaff (26 disposals), Mark Hutchings (28) and Luke Shuey (29) but only Gaff, ex-Hawk Xavier Ellis and second-gamer Jeremy McGovern could garner multiple goals.

The Hawks move past Geelong into second spot on the ladder and face Carlton at the MCG next Friday night.

The Eagles' season appears shot and they will likely go into their clash with Gold Coast next week in Perth as underdogs.

Jack Darling shows intent but Adam Simpson says the fundamentals are lacking. Picture: AFL Media



HAWTHORN      3.4   10.6   16.7   19.9 (123)
WEST COAST   4.4    7.5    8.7     12.7 (79)

GOALS
Hawthorn: Roughead 8, Gunston 3, Lowden 3, Breust, Suckling, Hodge, Rioli, Smith
West Coast: Gaff 3, Ellis 2, McGovern 2, LeCras, Masten, Naitanui, Hurn, Darling
 
BEST
Hawthorn: Roughead, Hodge, Smith, Lewis, Spangher
West Coast: Priddis, McGovern, Gaff, Hutchings, Shuey
 
INJURIES
Hawthorn: Hartung (elbow)
West Coast: TBC
 
SUBSTITUTES
Hawthorn: Billy Hartung replaced Cyril Rioli in the fourth quarter.
West Coast: Sharrod Wellingham replaced Xavier Ellis in the third quarter.
 
Reports: Nil
 
Umpires: Nicholls, Harris, Foot
 
Official crowd: 15,504 at Aurora Stadium


The Hawks run to debutant Luke Lowden to congratulate him after slotting his first goal. Picture: AFL Media