Hawks win but fail to tame Lions attack

Brisbane's Ryan Lester soccers the ball away from Hawthorn's Josh Gibson.
Brisbane's Ryan Lester soccers the ball away from Hawthorn's Josh Gibson.

HAWTHORN coach Alastair Clarkson was happy to come out of their round 1 clash against Brisbane with a victory but knows his side has plenty of improvement to make.

The Hawks struggled for the best part of three quarters to shrug off the Lions before showing glimpses of their best form in the final quarter onslaught that saw them boot eight goals.

"It was a pretty scratchy game but strangely enough pretty open scoring in what was a scratchy game," Clarkson said.

"Both sides made plenty of errors which is to be expected in the first game of the season but we were hoping to be a little more polished than that.

"Both defences were under a fair amount of pressure throughout the course of the day and it was just a matter of which side was going to convert their chances best when they did get inside 50 and we managed to do that."

Clarkson said the main stats were reasonably even for both sides and half-way through the third term it had been "game on " when Brisbane got to within a goal.

"It was pleasing to be able to run out the game and have a really strong last quarter but even then they kicked five goals in the last quarter and both sides fell away defensively in the latter part of the game," he said.

"It was just frustrating because we know we can play better than that.

"We try to play our best every week but it wasn't quite there and it's pretty scratchy footy quite often early in the year and as long as we're winning games of footy we'll be close to our best by the end of the year rather than right now."

Clarkson said the Hawks would need to be much better with a big challenge coming up against Essendon at Etihad Stadium next week and they could not afford to allow their next opponent as many inside 50 entries as they did to Brisbane.

"It was hard for our defenders to stem the tide at times and they were able to kick 13 goals.

"But fortunately we were able to kick over 20 so that means we still win the game but it was too open a game for our liking."

While happy to have ten goalkickers Clarkson said the Hawks didn't connect to targets as well as he would have liked inside 50.

"Maybe I'm being a bit too greedy because we've still kicked 21 goals and took 22 marks inside 50 but our polish wasn't quite there in our game but we can't be too displeased with a game where we won by nearly 50 points against a pretty spirited opposition.

" The Brisbane Lions are obviously a lot better than a lot of pundits give them credit for and it was a really close game right up until half way through the third quarter when we managed to get some better polish into our game in the last part of the contest that allowed us to run away with a victory."


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