Freo falls flat to Hawks
HAWTHORN 2.4 10.9 13.12 17.17 (119)
FREMANTLE 0.3 2.6 7.8 9.9 (63)
Hawthorn: Roughead 4, Suckling 2, Rioli 2, Breust 2, Young, Guerra, Franklin, Hale, Lewis, Mitchell, Smith
Fremantle: Ballantyne 2, Barlow, Neale, Crowley, Clarke, Johnson, Mayne, Dawson
Hawthorn: Roughead, Sewell, Rioli, Young, Mitchell, Lewis
Fremantle: Barlow, Crowley, Sandilands, Mzungu, Hill
Hawthorn: Paul Puopolo replaced by Shane Savage in the fourth quarter.
Fremantle: Clancee Pearce replaced by Jay van Berlo in the third quarter.
Umpires: Justin Schmitt, Troy Pannell, Andrew Mitchell
Official crowd: 12, 959 at Aurora Stadium
A dominant first half has inspired Hawthorn to a percentage-boosting victory against top-four rivals Fremantle at Aurora Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
The Hawks completely stifled Fremantle early in the game, restricting their opponents to just two goals in the first half and kicking 10 of their own, setting up a match-winning break.
The 17.17 (119) to 9.9 (63) win was the third-straight for the Hawks following their round-five fadeout in the second half against Sydney, also at Launceston.
That disaster prompted plenty of scrutiny at the time and the Hawks were still outside the top eight coming into this match.
But Hawthorn – widely rated as premiership contenders – was too good for the sixth-placed Fremantle.
Clinton Young starred in his 100th game and key forward Jarryd Roughead kicked four goals, while Cyril Rioli’s brilliance was a crucial factor as they routed Fremantle in the second term.
The Hawks had an eight-goal run through the second quarter to put Fremantle out of the contest.
Fremantle rallied with four unanswered goals in the third term reducing the margin from 63 points to 39, but there would be no repeat of the collapse against the Swans.
Ross Lyon could see the bad signs during a scrappy first term, where his team only managed three behinds to trail by 13 points.
Rather than let the players split into their line groups at the first break, Lyon immediately brought them together and was very animated as he addressed the team.
The first-term statistics were damning – Hawthorn had won the clearances 12-4, despite ruckman Aaron Sandilands winning most of the hitouts.
Fremantle kicked with the wind in the opening term, but the Hawks won the inside 50s 20-6.
Fremantle’s intensity briefly lifted at the start of the second term and Lachie Neale kicked their first goal after a minute.
But after Fremantle missed another two shots, Hawthorn gradually went up a gear.
The Hawks went on an eight-goal run that blew the margin from five points out to a match-winning 57 points just before halftime.
Rioli marked indigenous round by again tormenting the opposition defenders with his lightning speed and decisive tackles in the first half.
Fremantle put midfielder Stephen Hill onto him at halftime.
Rioli went into the midfield at times in the second half and was not as influential.
Before this game, Fremantle had restricted opponents to an average 44 inside 50s per game – by halftime, Hawthorn had 40.
Sam Mitchell and Liam Shiels dominated the stoppages, while Guerra and Josh Gibson led their defence.
Hill and Michael Barlow were the best of a bad lot for Fremantle, while Luke McPharlin kept Hawks star Lance Franklin quiet.
Dockers utility Clancee Pearce was subbed off in the third term after a heavy hit.