Hawthorn showed there’s fight in the old dog yet with a stunning win over the Western Bulldogs, but Alastair Clarkson wants more from the reigning premiers.
The Hawks’ thrilling three-point win was the highlight of an enthralling round of AFL action but it was overshadowed by a serious injury to Dogs skipper Bob Murphy who suffered a suspected ruptured ACL with just one minute left in the match.
The Bulldogs went into the Etihad Stadium clash undefeated and on top of the ladder but couldn’t find a way past the Hawks despite an irresistible third term.
“Somehow we found a way to hang in there,” Clarkson said.
“It felt like the game was a lot more than a three-goal difference at three-quarter time such was their dominance.
“We’ll have a look at the tape and try and work out the reasons for why we were good in a couple of quarters and pretty poor in another couple.
“We bank the four points and start getting ourselves ready for St Kilda next week.”
An emotional Luke Beveridge fears the worst for Murphy but scans will be required to confirm if he has suffered a torn ACL that could end his career.
The Dogs and the Hawks won plenty of admirers in round three but Richmond and Collingwood are friendless after suffering disappointing losses to Adelaide and St Kilda respectively.
Both entered the season with high expectations but sit well down the ladder with 1-2 records.
The Pies host Melbourne at the MCG on Sunday while the Tigers face the daunting task of taking on West Coast in Perth on the big stage of Friday night footy.
On the day the Saints celebrated the 50th anniversary of their 1966 premiership, they scored a famous win over the Magpies at the MCG.
It didn’t come without cost, however, with the club to monitor Nick Riewoldt and Paddy McCartin after the pair suffered concussions.
West Coast bounced back with a win over cross-town rivals Fremantle in another hotly-contested local derby.
The Dockers’ winless season went from bad to worse with lead ruckman Aaron Sandilands sidelined for weeks with a punctured lung and broken ribs.
North Melbourne snuck past plucky Melbourne by five points in a high-scoring affair in Hobart to remain unbeaten, along with Sydney and Gold Coast, who defeated Greater Western Sydney and Carlton respectively.
Geelong and Port Adelaide were the other winners from round three.