Hawks continue Eagles misery
A six goal haul from veteran forward Luke Breust was the catalyst for Hawthorn's 25 point win over West Coast at the MCG on Sunday.
In cold and wintry conditions with bursts of rain throughout it was a seven goal second term that swung the game in favour of the Hawks, closing out the match for a 15.12 (102) to 12.5 (77) win.
West Coast started the game well with goals to key forwards Jack Darling and Josh Kennedy within the first five minutes, Breust responding in kind for the Hawks.
Terrific stoppage goals from Luke Shuey and Tim Kelly kept the visitors ahead at the first change in slippery conditions, Hawthorn lifting after a stern conversation between captain Ben McEvoy and team mates at quarter time.
A seven goal to three second stanza left the Eagles with work to do, the Hawks leading by 12 points with Breust bagging four goals for the half, running rings around opponent Alex Witherden.
The rain looked to set in for most of the third term as the teams traded periods of momentum, debutant Jai Culley doing good work around the packs laying some big tackles for the Eagles.
Despite playing some better football the Hawks still won the quarter by two points, heading in to the final break leading by 14 points.
When Sam Mitchell's men kicked a goal within the first minute of the last it appeared it was game over, only for Jamie Cripps to respond almost immediately for the Eagles.
Breust snapped his fifth to keep the visitors at bay, only for goals to Darling and Jake Waterman (one of three for the day) to bring the margin to under two straight kicks with eight minutes remaining.
Connor Macdonald soccered the sealer from the goal square, Breust adding a career equal best sixth goal in the final minute as the Hawks recorded back to back wins for the first time since round 2 this year.
Tom Barrass was outstanding in defence for the Eagles, keeping opponent Mitch Lewis goalless while having a career high 30 disposals and 18 marks in a towering defensive performance.
Josh Ward (34 disposals) had perhaps his best game for Hawthorn with support from ball magnet Tom Mitchell (33) while Breust was sublime with six superb majors.
The loss coupled with North Melbourne's win sees West Coast just 4 percentage points off the bottom of the ladder with five rounds remaining, losing ruckman Callum Jamieson late to an adductor injury while Tim Kelly battled through the second half with a badly corked thigh.
Adam Simpson lamented another Eagles defeat.
"“It wasn’t the prettiest game to watch. We came with the right intent, started well. The contests around the ground they probably read it better, adjusted better," he said.
"Pressure factor was high, we couldn’t match them in work rate. It looked a bit more consistent in some areas.”
West Coast return home to face St Kilda at Optus Stadium next Sunday.
IMAGE: West Coast Eagles Twitter.