Eagles make it seven straight
West Coast has comfortably accounted for Hawthorn, winners by 32 points at Optus Stadium on Sunday evening.
Josh Kennedy and Liam Ryan each kicked 3 goals as the Eagles led at every change to triumph 12.9 (81) to 7.7 (49), improving their win loss record to 8-3 with one game remaining at home before the club returns to the Gold Coast to complete the home and away season.
West Coast were in control from the outset, Kennedy slotting the first goal of the game inside three minutes from the right forward pocket.
Hawthorn would record 15 inside 50’s for the quarter to the Eagles 11 but failed to score a point, as intercept marking defenders Tom Barrass and the returning Jeremy McGovern took several grabs in the last line of defence.
Liam Ryan was flying high early, bringing down two high marks and converting the subsequent set shots as the Eagles led by 22 points at the first break.
Liam Shiels nailed a goal from a boundary line stoppage to give Hawthorn their first major early in the second term, but the Eagles were still making the most of their opportunities with goals to Oscar Allen, Jack Darling and Jamie Cripps helping them to a 26 point half time advantage.
Having lost star midfielder Elliot Yeo before the game due to groin soreness Andrew Gaff stepped up in his absence with 19 first half disposals, Dom Sheed, Luke Shuey and Tim Kelly also having a say around the stoppages, aided by the ruckwork of Nic Naitanui.
Big forwards Kennedy (two) and Darling hit the scoreboard after half time to give the home team a comfortable 43 point advantage, before late goals to Conor Glass and Tim O’Brien made things more respectable at the final change.
The heavens opened in the final term as West Coast maintained their five goal lead, Nic Reid kicking his first AFL goal after receiving a handpass from Darling 25 metres out from goal, snapping truly on his left foot.
James Worpel landed a long bomb for the gallant Hawks, but it wasn’t enough as Adam Simpson’s side closed it out for a comfortable victory.
Gaff finished with 33 disposals for the Eagles, skipper Shuey next best with 24 and defender Brad Shepperd with 22 and a late third term goal in another superb performance.
On top of Yeo's late withdrawal midfielder Jack Redden failed to finish the game with what appeared to be a recurrence of a quad injury that caused him to miss the round 9 clash with Geelong.
Brownlow medallist Tom Mitchell led all comers on the ground with 34 disposals, Hawks midfield tyros Jaeger O’Meara and James Worpel (both 27) finding plenty of the football.
Remarkably Hawthorn finished with more inside 50’s, but West Coast managed 21 scoring shots to 14 to keep their winning run intact.
Eagles coach Adam Simpson was content with his side’s four quarter performance.
“We’ll take the win and move on. Overall we had more bang for buck going forward. Hawthorn really troubled us with their field position. They played with real spirit.”
Simpson also confirmed that Elliot Yeo’s injury may be more serious than first thought, while ruckman Nathan Vardy suffered an injury of his own in a practice match earlier in the day.
“It’s a bit of an adductor. Elliot Yeo looks like he will be out for a while. Nathan Vardy has an issue at the scrimmage and won’t be available for some time.”
“It’s a really bad cork, that has bled. It’s compartment syndrome. He’s in hospital now.”
The Eagles face Greater Western Sydney in their final home match of the home and away season next Sunday, while Hawthorn relocates to South Australia to play Port Adelaide at the Adelaide Oval.
IMAGE: Fox Sports.