Hawks surge home to down Dockers - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Hawks surge home to down Dockers

Sam Lienert 05/06/2011 07:00:21 PM Comments (0)

Hawthorn ruckman Max Bailey is finally earning plaudits for helping his AFL club win matches, rather than for just playing in them.

Playing his ninth AFL game in his sixth season, after three knee reconstructions, the 24-year-old came of age as the Hawks came from 28 points down to stun Fremantle 17.9 (111) to 13.11 (89) at the MCG on Sunday.

Trailing by 26 points early in the last term, Hawthorn kicked the final eight goals to shore-up third spot.

Bailey, beaten by Fremantle's Jonathon Griffin over the first three terms, was crucial to the comeback, as Hawthorn repeatedly swept the ball out of the centre.

He had seven centre hit-outs to Griffin's one in the last quarter, and cleared the ball twice from the centre himself, one of those setting up a brilliant goal to teammate Shaun Burgoyne.

Hawthorn coach Alastair Clarkson said Bailey turned the midfield tide.

"There's no real strategy (to swing the momentum) except to keep hanging in there and big Max showed us that he can ruck," Clarkson said.

"We were really, really pleased with his whole game, but particularly his last quarter."

Clarkson said both Bailey and substitute Luke Breust, a fourth-gamer who kicked three goals after coming on late in the third term, took important steps.

"Those two boys will get enormous belief out of that game, Breust and Bailey, to not just be playing and be part of the 22, but actually really play a role and assist the side win," Clarkson said.

"The 20 other blokes that they play with, plus supporters and coaches, anyone who watches the game, say 'Gee, Breust can do some things and wasn't Bailey great in the last quarter.'

"Also for the lads themselves, that makes their benchmark a little bit higher.

"It's not just 'I'll get in there and see if I can do a bit', it's 'I'll get in there and actually influence a game.'"

Captain Luke Hodge, ex-skipper Sam Mitchell and Jarryd Roughead were also central to the last-term charge, while Michael Osborne kicked two goals for the quarter.

Earlier, Cyril Rioli kept Hawthorn in touch with five of their first eight goals, the first five-goal haul of his career.

The Dockers have lost four of their past five games to be just clinging onto eighth spot and coach Mark Harvey said they were struggling with a heavy injury load.

"We've had to battle through some extreme circumstances at the moment, and if you want to talk about the team and where it's at from an availability point of view, I thought they gave whatever they had for the duration of the game," he said.

"That can be a reason why you can fall away at times too, if you're inducting a lot of inexperienced players."

Ex-Adelaide ruckman Griffin, playing his second match for the Dockers, was influential for much of the game in the continued injury absence of giant Aaron Sandilands.

Greg Broughton was excellent in the midfield for three quarters, although he faded in the last, while speedster Stephen Hill kicked three second-half goals.

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