AAP AFL

Hawks fight back to beat Carlton in Perth

By AAP Newswire

Hawthorn have eased the pressure on coach Alastair Clarkson after coming from five goals down to beat Carlton by 31 points at Optus Stadium in Perth.

The Hawks looked headed for their fifth straight defeat after Carlton raced out to a 31-0 lead inside the opening 16 minutes.

But Hawthorn turned the match on its head from that point on, booting nine of the next 10 goals to set up the 14.5 (89) to 9.4 (58) win in front of 12,304 fans.

The result leaves Hawthorn and Carlton with 4-5 records.

"After the early onslaught by Carlton, to be out of touch like we'd been and five goals down 20 minutes into the first quarter, it would have been really easy to turn our toes up and say 'it's all too hard'," Clarkson said.

"But there was a resolve amongst the group.

"We've been getting bashed from pillar to post everywhere, including on the ground. But for the resolve of the group to stand up when you're five goals down 20 minutes into the game ... it says a little bit for the group and the character of them."

Carlton skipper Patrick Cripps dominated the opening term with 11 disposals and three clearances, before finishing with 27 disposals, eight clearances and 1.2.

Cripps also earned seven free kicks for the match - a stark contrast to last week when the umpires failed to notice him being held off the ball against North Melbourne.

But he missed two big chances on goal when his team desperately needed to stem Hawthorn's momentum.

"He was strong around the contest," Carlton coach David Teague said of Cripps.

"He was a big body. He got his hands on it and he won the ball and won it on the inside.

"It was probably the ability to get some outside ball and take territory that we (missed).

"Hawthorn owned the outside better than us. We need to have a look at our method there."

Blues forward Levi Casboult (three goals) looked dangerous every time he flew for a mark, but he did not receive enough supply.

Hawthorn midfielder Tom Mitchell (28 disposals) was busy through the middle, while Jack Gunston booted three goals from 16 disposals and also took three contested marks.

Carlton made a dream start to the match, smashing the Hawks in all the major key stats to open up an imposing 31-0 lead in the opening 16 minutes.

The Blues still led by 25 points early in the second quarter before Hawthorn made their move - and boy was it spectacular.

The Hawks piled on six unanswered goals in the space of 17 minutes to take a 13-point lead into half time, with Carlton made to pay dearly for a series of turnovers.

The margin was 24 points at the final change, and Carlton were unable to breach the gap in the last quarter.