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Silky Hawks have "work to do"

R13: Clarkson post match Alastair Clarkson spoke to the media following the win over the Crows.

ALASTAIR Clarkson has hailed Hawthorn's stunning third-quarter clearance dominance over Adelaide that turned a tight game into a stampede on Saturday night.

The Hawks smashed the Crows 49-26 overall in the clearances, but won 18 of 19 in a "purple patch" in the third term that saw them kick seven goals to none on the way to a 56-point victory.

Jaeger O'Meara (nine clearances), Tom Mitchell (eight), 350-gamer Shaun Burgoyne (six) and Daniel Howe (four, including three in the penultimate quarter) all made significant contributions.

Read: Match report - Hawks v Crows

The depleted Adelaide midfield was no match for its Hawthorn counterpart, also losing centre clearances (10-7) and contested possession (146-124).

"That was really important for us, because Adelaide's a real class act in that part of the game in there," Clarkson told reporters post-match.

"They're in the top three or four in groundballs and contested balls and that sort of stuff over the course of the season.

"It was an area of the game we needed to get better at as well and we were really pleased with that part of the game in the second half."

The Hawks have won their past two matches either side of the round 12 bye to stabilise their season after a three-match losing skid punctuated by a horror 56-point defeat to Brisbane.

But Clarkson stopped short of declaring his ninth-placed team was back to where it needed to be.

"We've still got a lot of work to do. 12.16 from 61 inside-50 entries would suggest we've still got some growth and improvement and I hope that's exciting for our players and supporters," he said.

"We know that we can compete and we've been pretty good at being able to restrict opposition sides to low scores, outside of that shocker we had against the Lions about three or four weeks ago, where we gave up 20 goals.

"Our trouble over the last four or five weeks is being able to kick a big enough score to win … it was a good effort to win convincingly tonight and we still kicked only 12, but we had 28 shots from 61 entries.

"If we can get those shots up around 35 from 61 entries, then you're likely to be kicking 17 or 18 goals and you're unlikely to lose when you're kicking that sort of number of goals."

Clarkson continues to tinker with his line-up, moving Jarman Impey to half-back against the Crows, where he also kept usual forward Jack Gunston for the second straight match.

He got significant drive from that area of the ground, with James Sicily kicking three goals – all in the third term – and Gunston and Blake Hardwick chiming in with one apiece.

Milestone man Burgoyne showed he still has plenty to offer, winning 24 possessions (14 contested), with ex-teammates Luke Hodge and Bradley Hill among those to watch from the stands.

"We've had some beauties, but he'd be on a level right at the top with a whole heap of others (I have coached)," Clarkson said of Burgoyne.

"Our club has been really fortunate over the last 10 years to have some really highly decorated servants play for our club – great players, great characters and great competitors – and Shaun is one of those.

"He's sharing this milestone with both the Hawthorn and Port Adelaide footy clubs, and he's served both clubs with great dignity and he's going to go down as one of the game's greats.

"I think he's still got some good footy left in him. Hopefully he keeps his body in good shape and gives himself a chance to go around again next year."

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