Hawks, Eagles aim to ditch inconsistency

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Sunday's clash between West Coast versus Hawthorn will be the battle of the yo-yo as both teams attempt to ditch their inconsistent tag.

The Eagles' topsy-turvy form was on full display against Carlton last week when they were outscored by a total of 80-0 across the first and last quarters, but were able to outscore the Blues 53-36 across the middle two terms.

Hawthorn's entire 2022 campaign to date has been a picture of inconsistency under first-year coach Sam Mitchell.

The Hawks (5-11) have posted wins against finals contenders Geelong, Brisbane, and Port Adelaide, and they fell just short against Carlton (one point), Melbourne (10 points), and Collingwood (four points).

But big losses to St Kilda (69 points), Gold Coast (67), Western Bulldogs (42), and Sydney (41) have highlighted the gap between Hawthorn's best and worst.

"West Coast are a little bit like us," Hawthorn coach Sam Mitchell said.

"Their best has been very good, but they haven't been able to sustain that throughout games.

"For us, it's going to be a challenge of consistency across this game, because we think if both teams play their best footy consistently, then that ends up a good contest.

"And the team that can't sustain it for long enough will get over-run most likely."

West Coast coach Adam Simpson described his team's display against Carlton last week as a Jekyll and Hyde performance.

"Our good quarters are looking pretty good, but our bad quarters are nowhere near acceptable," Simpson said.

"We've got to close that gap ... that's a goal for us."

West Coast were dealt a huge blow when Nic Naitanui (knee soreness) and Willie Rioli (personal reasons) were ruled out of Sunday's match at the MCG.

The Eagles have struggled without Naitanui this season, and the ruck duties will be left to inexperienced pair Bailey Williams and Callum Jamieson.

West Coast coach Adam Simpson was impressed by Hawthorn's 32-point win over Adelaide last week.

"They play an exciting brand. They'll take you on," Simpson said.

"They've got some healthy players back and they're looking pretty good.

"It's going to be a challenge, but we're looking forward to it, getting back to the MCG for the second time in three weeks.

"It's a really good experience for our younger players, and hopefully we can put our best foot forward."

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