JACK Gunston's finals campaign may be over after the Hawthorn forward suffered an ankle injury in their disastrous qualifying final loss to West Coast.

Friday night's 32-point loss to the Eagles at Domain Stadium means the Hawks will now have to beat history if they are to win a third-straight premiership.

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The last team to lose a final and go on to win the flag was West Coast nine years ago.

And they will probably have to do it without Gunston, who needed help from trainers to leave the field after he was hurt in the last quarter.

"I think it's an ankle, but we'll get that scanned ... and see what the severity is," coach Alastair Clarkson said.

"It didn't look great.

"He looked pretty proppy."

Gunston ended the game with both his ankle and knee strapped up with ice packs.

It's a massive blow for the Hawks. Gunston is now a key plank of their forward line and is the team's leading goalkicker this year.

He is also a chance of Virgin Australia All Australian honours after being named in the AA squad of 40 during week.

Hawthorn will now play the winner of the Western Bulldogs-Adelaide elimination final next Friday night at the MCG..

They must improve dramatically on Friday night to stay in the premiership race - especially with their ball use.

West Coast's relentless team defence denied Hawthorn clean possessions.

The Hawks, normally so well-organised and precise, were picked apart.

After upset losses late in the season to Richmond and Port Adelaide as well, it is clear that teams are working out how to stop the AFL pacesetters.

"Just the little half-chances we had, especially through the course of the first half - fumbled balls, missed kicks, missed handballs - it was just so unlike us," Clarkson said.

"We'll back our boys in and go again.

"We just have to find a way."