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Hawks find the legs to win

Post-match: Hawks Watch Hawthorn coach Alastair Clarkson's post-match press conference
AT THREE-quarter time on Sunday Hawthorn looked in trouble.

Clinging to a 19-point lead, in 32-degree heat, on the back of a six-day break following a torrid tussle with Geelong in round one, West Coast looked to have the run in the legs at the last change.

"You're right. Both sides were cramping a lot and we looked more fatigued," Hawthorn coach Alastair Clarkson admitted after the match.

But the Hawks dug deep and conjured an eight goals to three last quarter to win by 50 points.

It was this that impressed Clarkson the most.

"West Coast challenged on numerous occasions throughout the course of the game and got a run on through the second quarter and again in the third quarter," he said.

"For our guys to steady and just withstand those challenges at different courses of the game are really important to us."

But Clarkson was wary of the challenges that lie ahead.

"It doesn't get any easier next week against the Pies. That will be another torrid affair, so we have to be ready for that one as well.

"We have to make sure we get back from Melbourne and recover really well."

There was a concern about Brad Sewell when he was subbed off midway through the third term but the coach was adamant it was a precautionary measure for a tight hamstring and nothing more.

Clarkson was pleased with the performance of his forwards, with nine goal-kickers combining for 23 majors.

"It worked well for us this week. We only scored 12 goals against the Cats last week with 67 inside 50 entries.

"That's been pleasing over both games that we've been able to get the ball forward and get it inside 50m.

"Geelong's defence was able to repel a lot of those attacks last week. We didn't connect with our forwards as well as we would have liked. We were better today."

Clarkson would have also been pleased with the return of his captain Luke Hodge.

The 2008 Norm Smith medallist collected 25 possessions in an impressive return from knee surgery. Hodge felt he got through the match unscathed.

"Feeling all right now. Tomorrow, I guess, will tell me," Hodge said.

"Look forward to a lighter week on the track and then Collingwood next week."