Hill hurt as Dockers remain winless in AFL

Fremantle’s winless AFL season of woe continued on Saturday, when Stephen Hill was hurt and Hawthorn recorded a 41-point win in Launceston.

The Dockers fought back in the second quarter to boast a two-point lead at halftime but the Hawks steadied in style to triumph 17.14 (116) to 11.9 (75).

The triple reigning premiers booted 8.7 to 0.2 in the third term, lifting their pressure to bust the game open at Aurora Stadium.

Dockers star Hill hobbled off the field during the third quarter with a leg injury and played no further part in the contest.

The result extended Hawthorn’s winning streak at their adopted home venue to 17 games.

Both sides were guilty of turning the ball over in windy conditions.

Fremantle’s problem was the hosts proved more capable of punishing errors.

The Hawks also had more opportunity to do so, especially in the blitz that followed halftime.

The cellar dwellers’ low point during that stretch came when they were unable to find a target with consecutive kick-ins.

Liam Shiels, Isaac Smith, Josh Gibson and Jordan Lewis all starred for Hawthorn, while forwards Jack Gunston, Luke Breust and Paul Puopolo were also influential.

Veteran on-baller Sam Mitchell, who returned from a corked calf, tallied 26 disposals.

Hawks young gun Taylor Duryea will be sweating on the findings of the match review panel, having floored Hayden Ballantyne in the second term.

Duryea smacked Ballantyne on the jaw, throwing an elbow backwards when the umpire was about to restart play.

Ballantyne had given his side the lead in the second quarter with a magnificent crumbing goal, shrugging Lewis’ tackle and kicking truly from a near-impossible angle.

The small forward was also one of many Dockers to err with the Sherrin in hand.

Fremantle have now lost nine games in a row, dating back to the 27-point defeat inflicted by the Hawks in the 2015 finals.

The decline of Ross Lyon’s side since that preliminary final has been nothing short of incredible.

They will aim to open their season account against Richmond next Saturday, when veteran Matthew Pavlich should return after being rested from the clash in Tasmania.

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