No smiles from Hawthorn skipper Jarryd Roughead after kicking a goal. Picture: Julian Smith/AAP
No smiles from Hawthorn skipper Jarryd Roughead after kicking a goal. Picture: Julian Smith/AAP

Four points but plenty of work to do for Hawks

SUSTAINED forward-half pressure eventually allowed Hawthorn to continue on its winning way on Saturday, but inefficiency in front of goal continued to plague Alastair Clarkson's men.

The Hawks chalked up their third straight victory to stay in the mix for a top eight spot, winning 13.18 (96) to 5.13 (43) over the Gold Coast Suns in Launceston.

For the second week in a row the Hawks held their opponents to under 50 points, but an inability to make the most of their own opportunities remains a glaring concern.

Hawthorn survived an early onslaught from the Suns, who kicked three of the first four majors inside 16 minutes and led by 15 points until a Jack Gunston goal after the quarter-time siren cut the gap to nine.

From there it was all one-way traffic. Gold Coast went an astonishing 81 minutes without kicking a major, registering 0.10 in the process until Alex Sexton finally broke the drought midway through the last term.

However, the hosts frittered away their own chances to inflict a percentage boosting massacre.

Taylor Duryea takes a spectacular mark. Picture: Chris Kidd
Taylor Duryea takes a spectacular mark. Picture: Chris Kidd

At one stage in the third quarter the Hawks had 10 consecutive inside 50s and peppered their own arc for no reward as Shaun Burgoyne, Taylor Duryea, Gunston and Tim O'Brien all missed straightforward offerings.

It took some brilliance from livewire forward Paul Puopolo, who was a chance to be a late withdrawal with his wife heavily pregnant in Melbourne, to end the streak of behinds when he roved a pack in the forward packet and snapped truly.

While the Hawks were blowing opportunities at one end, the Suns caught the disease at the other to end any chance of a comeback.

Josh Schoenfeld, skipper Tom Lynch and Callum Ah Chee all fluffed simple set shots, undoing the work of Suns  defenders fighting gallantly against repeated waves of pressure.

Hawthorn added some gloss to the win with some late goals in the last term and will happily bag the four points and move on, but know plenty of work remains.

Jack Gunston marks in front of Michael Rischitelli and Jack Leslie.
Jack Gunston marks in front of Michael Rischitelli and Jack Leslie.

The side won the inside-50 count 47-25 after quarter-time (57-42 overall) and smashed the Suns on the outside, winning 69 more uncontested possessions.

Liam Shiels led the way with 33 disposals, Tom Mitchell had 31 and  former Sun Jaeger O'Meara finished with 24.

James Sicily was again outstanding across the back half, and Luke Breust was dangerous in attack but kicked a wayward 2.3.

The Hawks did suffer an injury blow with veteran Shaun Burgoyne not appearing after three-quarter-time due to a hamstring problem.

BEST

HAWTHORN: J.O'Meara, L.Breust, J.Sicily, L.Shiels, J.Impey, S.Burgoyne

GOLD COAST: J.Harbrow, J.Lyons, T.Miller, T.Lynch, J.Martin

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Tom Lynch looks dejected after losing to Hawthorn.
Tom Lynch looks dejected after losing to Hawthorn.


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