Hawks hold off Kangaroos in AFL thriller - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Hawks hold off Kangaroos in AFL thriller

By Sam Lienert 07/08/2011 07:22:14 PM Comments (0)

Amid brilliant goals from star forward Lance Franklin, it was a desperate act from lesser light Rick Ladson that Hawthorn believed sealed victory over North Melbourne.

The Hawks survived a stunning last-term charge from the Kangaroos, in windy and wet conditions, to win 15.13 (103) to 13.8 (86) in Launceston.

The gritty victory consolidated their top-four berth and left North six premiership points outside the top eight, meaning even wins in their remaining three games might not earn them a finals berth.

After a scrappy first three terms, the game sprung to life in a sensational last quarter.

Franklin, well held to that point, kicked the first two goals of the quarter, starting with an incredible banana from the boundary, as Hawthorn surged 21 points clear.

With North kicking into the wind, they looked out of the contest.

But Kangaroos small forward Matt Campbell, who had also been quiet, kicked four goals in 11 minutes to snatch back the lead.

The second of those came when back-to-back 50m penalties took him to the goal-line, the first courtesy of a shove from Franklin and the second believed to be for umpire abuse.

North's last goal was pure Campbell brilliance, the goalsneak recovering from a marking contest to soccer to his own advantage, pounce and goal.

Hawthorn regained the lead through Shaun Burgoyne.

Then came the sealer.

It was set up when North defender Scott McMahon's attempt to switch the ball to Andrew Swallow at halfback came unstuck as Ladson charged in to spoil.

The ball spilled to Franklin, whose 60m goal made up for his earlier disciplinary breach.

"Rick Ladson's spoil in the middle of the ground was exceptional. It turned the game on its head really," Hawks midfielder Sam Mitchell, who was best afield, said.

"Sometimes it takes something special from someone to try to turn the game and I thought his effort to get that spoil was very impressive and just what the side needed."

While Hawthorn's strong form this season has owed much to their excellent kicking skills, Mitchell was delighted they could also prevail when precise football was near-impossible.

"It gives you confidence that regardless of what the weather and the opposition throw at you, that you've got the capabilities and the structures to give yourself a good chance of winning," he said.

Mitchell, Brad Sewell and Hodge battled strongly in the midfield for the Hawks, while Jack Ziebell was similarly hard-nosed to be the Kangaroos' best.

North coach Brad Scott said his side did a lot right, but Hawthorn's quality shone when it counted.

"Buddy Franklin did what Buddy Franklin can do ... their class players showed their class," Scott said.

Hawk Jordan Lewis and North skipper Brent Harvey might both be scrutinised by the match review panel for incidents in the second quarter, Harvey seeming to trip Hawk Liam Shiels, with Lewis appearing to make contact to Harvey's face in retaliation.

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