Hawks thrash Suns in AFL, coach wants more

His side may have enjoyed a 53-point belting of the Gold Coast but coach Alastair Clarkson has bemoaned the lack of consistency at Hawthorn, calling on his players to lift if they have designs on being around for the pointy end of the finals.

The result was no surprise at Launceston’s Aurora Stadium on Saturday, the reigning AFL premiers running out victors 14.9 (93) to 6.4 (40) over the lowly Suns.

But, with a 5-4 season start Clarkson wants more.

“We need to start putting some wins together to give ourselves any chance of finishing top-four,” he said.

“We need to start working on some wins and consecutive wins to be able to give ourselves a chance in the latter part of the year.”

It has been a frustrating pattern in 2015 for the Hawks, who have yet to win back-to-back games.

On the plus side on Saturday was the return from suspension of captain Luke Hodge, Clarkson lauding his experience and strength in the win.

Playing his 100th game in the brown and gold Luke Breust kicked three goals and was the side’s top-scorer.

Sam Mitchell featured with 37 disposals and seven clearances, and forward David Hale again showed his value.

The Suns, minus key midfielders due to a high injury toll, put up an admirable display to stay in the early game, with a margin of just 14 points at the main break.

Coach Rodney Eade said the first half performance was encouraging.

“Early in the third (term) they killed us a bit but I thought we fought back,” he said.

“Except for a patch of about 15 or 20 minutes I thought our effort was terrific.

“The thing that got us in the end was our ability to run. (There are) so many out who are our good runners.”

The Suns are missing Gary Ablett (shoulder, indefinite) while Dion Prestia, David Swallow and Jaegar O’Meara (all knee) are on the long-term injury list.

Up to 14 players were listed as out of action for this week.

Tom Lynch top-scored for the Suns with two goals and Mitch Hallahan finished with 30 disposals and seven clearances against his former Hawks teammates.

But there was more bad news for the Suns on Saturday, with Jack Martin leaving the ground within the first three minutes of play with a hamstring injury, while Adam Saad and Alex Sexton played on with groin complaints.

Hawthorn’s Paul Puopolo went off early in the final term after hurting his ankle.

“We’re hoping it’s pretty minor,” Clarkson said.

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