Hawks hold off Eagles - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Hawks hold off Eagles

By Roger Vaughan 25/04/2009 09:59:02 PM Comments (0)

West Coast coach John Worsfold wants better protection for Daniel Kerr after the star midfielder resembled a human pinball at times in their gritty AFL loss to Hawthorn.

Hawks midfielder Chance Bateman superbly tagged Kerr, restricting him to only 10 touches as Hawthorn scored a crucial 18-point win over the Eagles in their Anzac Day twilight match at Launceston's Aurora Stadium, 11.8 (74) to 7.14 (56).

But Bateman's team-mates also clearly made a point to put physical pressure on Kerr at every opportunity and the Eagle was briefly forced from the field in the second term with a cut mouth.

Worsfold would prefer for the AFL umpires department to contact him about the issue and he called on the media to pass comment on whether Kerr is receiving fair treatment on the field.

It is not the first time Worsfold has commented on the attention paid to Kerr, but he has rarely been this strongly-worded.

"I'd like you guys (media) to make that call, because he goes hard at it, but he's not a big man and he tends to ... I look around a lot and he's on his backside, well off the ball," Worsfold said.

"He's doing extremely well to hold his patience."

Worsfold added Kerr's team-mates knew they had to protect their team-mate, but it was difficult without conceding free kicks.

"We can't put six players around him and circle him," Worsfold said.

"What we would like to know or see is if he's trying to play the ball, he gets protected like other players."

Overall, Worsfold was encouraged as the Eagles hit the front early in the last term and relentlessly pushed Hawthorn.

He is justifiably buoyant about next weekend's western Derby.

West Coast were a rabble in round three when they went down to St Kilda by 97 points, but they upset the Western Bulldogs last week and lacked nothing for effort against the Hawks.

The premiers were also rapt - and no doubt relieved - after holding off the Eagles.

"It was a terrific effort by our lads, we got challenged ... given where we were at going into the game, it was a really crucial win," said coach Alastair Clarkson.

"It didn't mean our season was over had we lost, but it would have enormously tough to try and claw our way back into the season if we'd gone 1-4.

"We had a real focus on playing with the good Anzac spirit today, because we didn't have that in our side last week and I thought our troops rallied to the cause today."

Hawks midfielder Brad Sewell was among their best, but he surprisingly won the Alec McDonald Anzac Day medal as best afield.

Captain Sam Mitchell was superb across half-back, while Jarryd Roughead responded to last week's poor game with four goals.

Youngster Garry Moss also kicked four goals and Eagles ruckman Dean Cox amassed 30 touches and 31 hitouts.

Clinton Young added to the Hawks' medical woes with a hamstring injury.

Eagle Adam Selwood is on report for front-on contact against Bateman.

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