AFL: Sam Mitchell has voiced his opinion to the umpire that Gary Ablett might have received a free kick, just because he is Gary Ablett.
HAWTHORN has recovered from a slow start to defeat the gutsy Gold Coast Suns and cement its spot on top of the AFL ladder.
After booting just two goals in the first term, the Hawks managed to kick 10 goals to four after quarter-time to run away with a 26-point win.
It was the Hawks’ 11th win of the year and reinstates their ladder-leading position, but it was far from smooth sailing against the struggling Suns.
By contrast it was an impressive opening quarter from the upbeat Suns who took a 15-point lead into the first break, putting the Hawks on edge.
Some typically colourful guidance from coach Rodney Eade spurred on the Suns who stretched their margin to 21 points early in the second quarter.
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But by the main break the premiers had reeled in the lead to just one point.
The Suns started to fade and finished the quarter goal-less while the experienced Hawks took comfortable control.
James Sicily was a standout for the Hawks, finishing with three goals and 13 disposals.
Captain Luke Hodge made his much-anticipated return, showing no ill effects of the knee injury that had sidelined him for weeks.
Gold Coast skipper Gary Ablett was his usual handy self for the Suns, recording 40 disposals and booting a goal, but didn’t have a blinder which is probably what Gold Coast needed if they were to produce an upset win.
Forward Tom Lynch was impressive for the Queensland outfit, finishing with three goals and 17 disposals.
Sam Mitchell was his ever-reliable self, with 35 disposals and winger Billy Hartung came off the bench as a valuable allrounder with a two-goal performance