Hawks back in top eight after win - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Hawks back in top eight after win

By John Salvado 06/06/2010 06:23:25 PM Comments (0)

Hawthorn have edged back into the AFL top eight for the first time since early April, but coach Alastair Clarkson admits they will have to play much better than in Sunday's 11-point win over Port Adelaide if they want to stay there.

The Hawks looked on track for a comfortable win when they led by 33 points late in the second quarter at the MCG.

The Power fought back and hit the front - by a single point - early in the final term, only for Hawthorn to kick the last two goals in a 10.14 (74) to 8.15 (63) victory.

After a demoralising run of six straight losses between rounds 2-7, this was the 2008 premiers' fourth win on the trot, although only the 50-point trouncing of Carlton two weeks ago could be described as comprehensive.

"Being in the eight at this stage of the season makes no difference, you've got to be in the eight at the end of round 22 and we've got plenty to do," said Clarkson.

"While it's been pleasing that we've been able to climb out of a rut and get ourselves back into the season, you could throw a blanket over 12 or 14 sides through the middle part of the ladder.

"We know we're one of those and particularly vulnerable, just like 13 other sides in that position.

"We need to play better footy if we want to give ourselves any chance of even making it, let along feature prominently and go deep into September."

Hawthorn replaced Essendon in eighth spot on percentage, with 11th-placed Port also among a group of five clubs on 20 points, although they are now on a four-match losing streak.

Conditions were slippery after heavy rain in the previous 24 hours but that was no excuse for a dreadful first quarter where the Hawks scored the only two goals.

Things improved only marginally in the second, although at least Port were able to kick their first two goals of the game through Tom Logan and Matt Thomas.

That meant the Power had managed only five majors in six full quarters of football, including last week's heavy home loss to previously winless Richmond at AAMI Stadium.

The visitors improved during the second half, so much so that they hit the front for the first time early in the final term after kicking the first three goals of the quarter through Jason Davenport (two) and Brett Ebert.

Luke Hodge, (who kicked a wasteful 1.5 for the day), Chance Bateman and Rick Ladson all missed straightforward shots at the other end before the Hawks were able to steady with goals from Jarryd Roughead and Michael Osborne, who took a spectacular diving mark before converting.

Hawthorn were well served by midfielders Brad Sewell, Chance Bateman and Hodge.

Port's better contributors included Danyle Pearce, Travis Boak and Logan.

"We don't dismiss the idea we had an opportunity to win and we're mighty disappointed about that," said Port coach Mark Williams.

"But there have been some times when we haven't been as competitive as we would have liked and certainly last week was one of them.

"So to be able to get back and show a competitive game on the MCG against a side that's also vying for the finals, we did hang in there."

The Hawks will welcome back spearhead Lance Franklin from suspension for next weekend's clash with Adelaide in Launceston, while Port Adelaide host Sydney.

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