Hawks too good for courageous Carlton side who cannot cap milestone game for captain.
It won’t be their best win this AFL season, but given it keeps their winning streak alive, Hawthorn coach Alistair Clarkson won’t lose too much sleep.
The Hawks outlasted a gutsy Carlton Blues side by 15 points to secure their 10th win-in-row, the first time the club has done so in the last 38 years.
Despite denying the Hawks possession and placing their opponents under pressure, the Blues lacked the polish needed to beat a side with as many different weapons as Hawthorn possesses.
Desperate to give Chris Judd a win in his 250th game, the Blues came up short 15.12 (102) to 13.9 (87) at Etihad Stadium.
Three quick goals to the Hawks gave them a handy lead early in the game, but it would be one of the biggest by either side as the game quickly became an arm-wrestle.
Carlton scored their first goal of the game when Levi Casboult snapped well from the front left pocket to make it 18-8.
Luke Bruest failed to make the Blues pay for a bad option in defence to only have a minor score, before David Hale kicked truly to stretched the lead to 17.
Carlton had six forwards that kept one Hawthorn close to their defensive fifty, not allowing them to create the extra man in the midfield, which is often one of their strengths.
A last-gasp goal from Zach Tuohy meant the sides were level going into the first break, despite the Hawks having a narrow two-point lead.
Hawthorn assistant coach Brett Ratten said the Blues did a good job in the first quarter denying his side possession.
“They got some ball control and kept the ball off us and they got the ball nice and quiet into their forward,” Ratten said,
“How damaging those clearances are will depend on on how we play for the rest of the game.”
Ben Stratton continued to struggle for the Hawks as his mistakes led to the Blues grabbing the lead through a goal to Bryce Gibbs.
A heavy hit between Luke Hodge and Marc Murphy saw the Blues leader off the field with a potential concussion, in what was an important injury for the Blues early in the game.
Franklin, off just the second inside fifty for the Hawks in the quarter, kicked well to level the score up again with 11 minutes remaining.
Eddie Betts gave Carlton a six-point lead again soon after despite the Hawks looking to have touched the ball on the line as the Blues kicked six of the last eight goals.
Hawthorn were able to score when they were able to get the ball forward in their limited chances, with their depth of options up front still having an affected despite being out played through the middle of the ground.
Judd capped his milestone match with an important goal from out wide to give his side a nine-point buffer just before the long break.
Kade Simpson was sensational for the Blues in the second quarter in gaining important touches and spoiling the Hawks as they attempted to close the gap.
Carlton got the perfect start to the second half as Jarrad Waite kicked his second for the game to make the margin 17.
But in a blow for the Blues, Murphy did not return to the game and was taken to hospital for scans on a suspected broken jaw.
Roughead earned the Hawks a vital goal to cut the lead to lead to 10 as Hawthorn began to build pressure on the leaders, who were reminded of their turnovers which cost them the win against Essendon last round .
Hawthorn started to rush their trips inside forward fifty and as a result the Blues’ pressure told as they defused the pressure.
Roughead snapped well from the forward pocket to give the Hawks the lead for the first time since early in the second quarter.
Twenty-five marks for Hawks in the third quarter and just 22 for the previous half, was a clear sign they were starting to find targets around the ground,
Franklin ran into an open goal to kick his fourth and to make it very tough for the Blues to come back as the margin grew to 15 in what was hectic finish to the game, with Bradley Hill sealing the victory to keep the Hawks at the top of the AFL ladder.