Hawks hand Saints AFL lesson

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Hawthorn have produced a professional day at the office to defeat St Kilda by 63 points, claiming back-to-back AFL wins for the first time in 2015.


The premiers were barely stretched in their 20.12 (132) to 10.9 (69) victory, earned with 12 individual goalkickers.

Alastair Clarkson’s 150th win as Hawthorn coach came with a minimum of fuss and moved the Hawks to fifth on the ladder.

Sam Mitchell was proficient in the middle, ably assisted by captain Luke Hodge.

Running machine Billy Hartung turned the Hawks from defence and through midfield well, with Liam Shiels, Luke Breust and Isaac Smith strong contributors.

In attack, Jack Gunston and Jarryd Roughead top scored with three goals.

Despite the loss, there was at least progress for the Saints to report, having slumped to a 145-point loss on their most recent date with the Hawks last year.

Josh Bruce kicked two goals while Jack Steven gathered 38 possessions.

Nick Riewoldt spent most of his time in a roaming role, with Bruce admirably carrying the load up front.

Former Hawk Shane Savage, playing as the substitute, and Jack Sinclair were the only other Saints to kick two.

By contrast, the Hawks had a fine spread of goalkickers, with 10 different players kicking their first 10 goals.

Ryan Schoenmakers, playing as a forward, snapped that streak with his second major in the third term.

Hodge and Gunston followed with their second goals within two minutes, blowing the lead out to 58 points.

It didn’t feel like a 10-goal game, but Hawthorn’s ability to score quickly greatly assisted their cause.

Most in the St Kilda dominated crowd of 33,886 felt the umpires also helped the Hawks along, with a free kick count reading 15-3 in the third term.

But the Saints’ loose tackling typified the gulf in class on display, as the Hawks kept accumulating their score.

Six straight fourth-term goals to Hawthorn threatened to push the margin into three figures before the Saints kicked the final three goals of the match.

With little to cheer, St Kilda fans went home doubly disappointed by the cancellation of kick-to-kick after the siren.

Clarkson said in a “strange old game” he was most pleased with two factors.

“The margin at the end and the fact we won all four quarters,” he said.

“There are elements of the game we were really, really pleased with but they had a bit too much ball control for our liking.”

Richardson said his players were very down in the changerooms after the loss, a sign of increasing expectation at the improving club.

“We were able to execute the plan to some extent,” he said.

“There were five minute periods in each quarter then they just got a hold of us.”