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Win dampened by injury blows

R8: Rioli leaves the field Cyril Rioli left the field and failed to return in the clash against the Lions.
LAUNCESTON, AUSTRALIA - MAY 13: Cyril Rioli of the Hawks is seen injured during the 2017 AFL round 08 match between the Hawthorn Hawks and the Brisbane Lions at the University of Tasmania Stadium on May 13, 2017 in Launceston, Australia. (Photo by Adam Trafford/AFL Media)
Cyril Rioli limped off the ground at the end of the third quarter, and took no further part in the match.

HAWTHORN got the four points and has put together its first two-game winning streak of the year, but the negatives might have outweighed the positives following the 38-point win over the Brisbane Lions at University of Tasmania Stadium on Saturday.

Knee injuries to Cyril Rioli and Ben Stratton, and a striking report on Isaac Smith put a dampener on the win and as coach Alastair Clarkson said afterwards, they’ll "lick their wounds" a bit on the plane home to Melbourne.

Of Rioli, who was hurt in the third quarter during a marking contest, Clarkson said, "there was some PCL mechanism. We hope it's not a severe injury but we'll have to wait for the scan. (But) I suggest it will be highly, highly unlikely he'll play next week." 

It was a scrappy game in large parts, with plenty of stoppages, but Clarkson was happy enough with a forward line that was potent for much of the afternoon. 

"We were able to kick over 100 points which was pleasing and restrict the way Brisbane likes to play. Overall we are pleased with the win."

The Hawks were again well-served by their younger players. Second-year defender Ryan Burton was just about best on ground with 25 possessions coming out of backline. Dan Howe made a flying start with 10 possessions in the first quarter and had 21 overall while Tim O’Brien was solid again, although he spent much of the second half helping out in defence once Stratton was off the ground.

Read: Match report Round 8

"They just need to get regular minutes and continuity and some of them acquitted themselves really well today. Hopefully, we’ll find some players through this period," Clarkson said. 

At 3-5 and with recent bunnies Collingwood next up, the Hawks are starting to build some momentum. They’ve won three from their last four, with the coach noting on Saturday evening, "We have been more competitive, which is good.

"We’re thereabouts but we can play a hell of a lot better. But it was good to get a couple of wins in a row,” he said.

Clarkson he didn't take much notice during the game that it was his good friend and longtime lieutenant Chris Fagan in the other coaches box.

"It was a bit frustrating at times; there wasn't a whole lot of flow in the game."

The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs