Jarryd Roughead
Jarryd Roughead

Hawthorn coach Alastair Clarkson described the two-way niggle evident in Sunday's 46-point triumph over Port Adelaide as part and parcel of AFL football.

Spot fires and wrestling stoushes broke out at regular intervals throughout the four quarters, as it appeared the Hawks had set out specifically to physically target silky-skilled, in-form Power pair Hamish Hartlett and Danyle Pearce.

Pearce, who has had a fine month since his recall from a one-week SANFL hiatus with Sturt, was limited to 15 touches and waged an ill-tempered duel with Liam Shiels, including a lengthy outer-wing wrestle.

And red-hot Hartlett was kept to just 12 touches, dictated to by best-afield Brad Sewell, who, conversely, racked up 33 possessions to go with eight clearances and eight inside 50s.

Sewell and Grant Birchall got at Hartlett physically early on, while later the Port youngster copped a flush hit to the jaw courtesy of Paul Puopolo.

"It's elite level sport," Clarkson said.

"It's a fierce battle.

"Those things are going to happen from time to time.

"They (Power) are a proud side and so are we.

"When you're trying to stop one another from doing what they want to do, there's going to be a bit of friction.

"We've got a fair amount of regard for the way they go about it and hopefully they do for us as well."

The one incident that will be talked about most though was four-goal superstar Lance Franklin's sling tackle on Paul Stewart at the 19-minute mark of the final term.

While the match review panel will undoubtedly look at the charge closely, Clarkson declined to discuss the matter further.

"I don't even know the situation with the report," Clarkson said.

"I'll worry about that on Monday - I won't worry about that now."

Coming off a magical career-high 13-goal haul against North Melbourne, Franklin peppered the goals again for his 4.4 and had some fine assistance from Luke Breust (three goals) and acting skipper Jarryd Roughead (two).

But it was the inside grunt work of veterans Sewell and Sam Mitchell (25 touches, eight clearances, seven tackles) that proved the big difference.

The visitors also benefited from their wonderful start, the Hawks slamming seven first-term majors en route to a sizeable 25-point quarter-time lead.

Clarkson identified getting off to a flier as important in quelling a Port outfit which had entered the clash having notched three wins on the trot.

"(In) Port's four games that they've won this year, they've had good starts in every one of their games," Clarkson said.

"It was important to try and take the crowd noise out of it.

"That's one of the most difficult things when you travel to play interstate and that's what we were really pleased with.

"To get away to a good start and get some early momentum was really important for the final result."


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