Sloppy Hawks close gap

HAWTHORN       6.3    9.7   12.11  19.15   (129)
GOLD COAST     3.3    4.5    8.5     10.5     (65)        

Despite losing superstar forward Lance Franklin to a stomach complaint before the first bounce, Hawthorn were never short of capable attacking options as they beat the Suns by 64 points at the MCG.

Franklin was replaced by 2008 premiership player Chance Bateman, who was using the opportunity to put forward his case for a spot in a side that will challenge for the flag in 2012.

The victory sets up a mouthwatering clash next week against the Swans, with the winner set to occupy top spot on the ladder with only a week remaining.

Coach Alistair Clarkson will have some issues to iron out during the week however, with the Hawks looking particularly sloppy during the third quarter in which they were outscored by the Suns. Clarkson looked incredibly frustrated as the Hawks appeared to be playing with a certain aura of under-appreciation for the contest and their opponents.

Silly free kicks were given away, avoidable 50 metre penalties were given and the Hawks defence seemed to lack the urgency and organisation that usually comes as second nature.

Clarkson obviously got his message across at the final change, with the Hawks side that returned from the break appearing much more focus as they kicked seven goals to two in the last term.

Gary Ablett, unsurprisingly, had the most disposals on the ground, with 43 and two goals creating the potential for him to steal three votes in a losing side come Brownlow night.

Votes

Ablett

Hodge

Roughead

GOALS
Hawthorn:
 Gunston 4, Roughead 2, Savage 2, Schoenmakers 2, Smith 2, Ellis 2, Breust, Hale, Lewis, Puopolo, Shiels

Gold Coast: May 3, Ablett 2, Brown 2, Magin 2, Taylor

BEST
Hawthorn:
 Hale, Roughead, Sewell, Gunston, Savage, Hodge, Birchall
Gold Coast: May, Ablett, Bennell, Magin, Stanley

INJURIES
Hawthorn:
 Lance Franklin (illness) replaced in selected side by Chance Bateman
Gold Coast: Charlie Dixon replaced in selected side by Michael Coad

SUBSTITUTES
Hawthorn:
 Chance Bateman replaced Stephen Gilham at three-quarter-time
Gold Coast: Josh Toy replaced Matt Shaw at three-quarter-time

Reports: Nil

Umpires: Dalgleish, Stewart, Hosking

Official crowd: 23,098 at the MCG

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