Hawks hammer dismal Bulldogs
Hawthorn climbed into the AFL's top four with a 72-point win on Sunday after doing a demolition job on the struggling Western Bulldogs in the second half.
The Hawks led by 19 points after the second term but surged clear by 59 points at three-quarter time before claiming victory 17.14 (116) to 6.8 (44) in front of 24,754 fans at Etihad Stadium.
Tall forward Jack Gunston kicked a game-high four goals for the Hawks, in the absence of Coleman Medal favourite Lance Franklin who was rested because of a hamstring strain.
Hawthorn outscored the Bulldogs nine goals to one in the second half to notch an 11-4 record while the Bulldogs suffered their 10th loss from 15 games.
Midfielders Sam Mitchell and Brad Sewell and defender Josh Gibson led the way for the Hawks who annihilated the Bulldogs 45-29 in the clearances and 61-38 in the inside-50s.
Ryan Schoenmakers, Jordan Lewis, Jordan Roughead, Luke Breust and Cyril Rioli all kicked two goals each for the Hawks, with Rioli displaying some dazzling skills.
Half-back Rob Murphy was outstanding for the Bulldogs while skipper Matthew Boyd was a tireless midfield worker in his 200th game with a game-high 37 disposals.
The Hawks broke the game wide open in the third term, scoring 6.5 to the Bulldogs' one behind.
Hawthorn smashed the Bulldogs in the clearances 16-6 in the third quarter as tough midfielder Brad Sewell helped himself to 10 possessions for the term.
The Bulldogs were more competitive in the final term, conceding three goals and scoring one of their own.
Bulldogs' small forward Shaun Higgins kicked three majors in the first half before the Hawks took over the game.
Big men Ayce Cordy and Tom Williams scored just one goal each for the Bulldogs.
Hawthorn face Collingwood at the MCG on Saturday in round 17 while the Bulldogs host Carlton at Etihad Stadium later that night.