Clarkson makes his message clear - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Clarkson makes his message clear

By Roger Vaughan 31/05/2008 08:00:31 PM Comments (0)

There are varying degrees of an AFL coach's "bake".

The term "made the paint peel from the walls" is commonly used to describe the vent by Port Adelaide's Mark Williams in the rooms after his side sacrificed a big lead against Brisbane earlier this season.

Similarly, everyone at the MCG last Saturday night knew exactly what mood Essendon's Matthew Knights was in during the quarter-time huddle against Richmond, just from his animated body language.

The word out of the Hawthorn rooms following Saturday's loss to the Western Bulldogs was that Alastair Clarkson held his temper, but there was real "steel" in his message.

No one present in the post-game team meeting was left in any doubt that the 32-point loss, their first for the season, would want to be a one-off lapse.

Clarkson would not tolerate injuries as an excuse - as he pointed out, the Hawks are yet to put their best side on the field this season.

They just failed to match the Bulldogs' first-rate intensity.

"We played against a very good football side today and we didn't play as well as what we could have," he said.

"I thought at different stages of the game, we stopped the Doggies from playing the way they wanted to play too, but we just couldn't apply much scoreboard pressure to the Bulldogs because we got trounced at the stoppages.

"We couldn't get the ball into our forward half of the ground regularly enough to be able to kick a score."

Clarkson also took aim at some media commentators as he lauded Bulldogs ruckman Ben Hudson, who moved from Adelaide and is enjoying a strong season.

"(Ben) Hudson has been an outstanding addition," he said.

"All these crackers like (David) Schwarz and (Garry) Lyon and these types of commentators who don't think that ruckman have an influence on the game - Hudson has been the most influential recruit of the season for any club."

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