Reinforced Hawks outclass Demons - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Reinforced Hawks outclass Demons

By Sam Lienert 24/07/2011 06:53:49 PM Comments (0)

Hawthorn coach Alastair Clarkson can finally see "blue sky" ahead for the rejuvenated Hawks as returning trio Cyril Rioli, Brad Sewell and Jordan Lewis starred against Melbourne, with more reinforcements coming.

Rioli kicked three goals and set up numerous others, Sewell's 33 disposals were the game's highest and Lewis provided typical midfield grunt as a clinical Hawthorn outclassed the Demons 20.12 (132) to 12.6 (78) at the MCG on Sunday.

The 54-point win kept the Hawks in third spot on the AFL ladder, an excellent result given the heavy injury toll they have endured, while Melbourne slumped to 11th ahead of a Skilled Stadium meeting with Geelong next round.

The Hawks face Fremantle in Perth on Saturday night, when they expect to welcome back Chance Bateman and Matt Suckling and possibly ex-Demon Cameron Bruce.

"We're starting to see a little bit of blue sky in terms of availability of our players," Clarkson said.

"We just need to have a little bit more fortunate run with injury in the next five or six weeks leading into finals."

The Hawks coach said the midfield hardness of Sewell and Lewis had been missed in recent weeks.

It was important against a Melbourne team whose best performances are driven by Brent Moloney's clearance work, at the feet of ruckmen Mark Jamar and Stefan Martin.

Moloney was held to just 17 touches on Sunday while Hawks Max Bailey and David Hale battled well in the ruck.

And while Hawthorn only just edged out the Demons in the clearance count, their precise ball use meant that when they won possession they made it count much more than Melbourne did.

Having star forward Lance Franklin (five goals) as a marking target in attack helped as did Rioli's pace, skill and creativity.

Clarkson acknowledged keeping Rioli injury-free after two stints on the sidelines with hamstring strains would be crucial to their season finish.

"He's played 11 games out of 16 and two of those games he was off with the injuries that forced him to miss," the coach said.

"We're really hopeful he can get a good run at it."

Captain Luke Hodge and ex-skipper Sam Mitchell were also excellent for the Hawks along with youngster Liam Shiels.

Demons coach Dean Bailey said his side faced a big challenge after conceding five early goals and had given up too many cheap goals with badly-timed turnovers.

"We hand-delivered a couple, but you've got to give them credit for actually reading the play as well," Bailey said.

"We were in unpressured situations but they certainly not only read our decision but they were able to capitalise on it and they did it very, very well.

Melbourne captain Brad Green made the most of his chances, with four goals while youngster Jeremy Howe kicked three and took some good marks and Martin and midfielder Nathan Jones battled hard.

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2021 AAP

0 Comments about this article

Post a comment about this article

Please sign in to leave a comment.
Becoming a member is free and easy, sign up here.

« All sports news