Eagles power past Hawks for AFL road win

Oliver CaffreyAAP
West Coast have posted their first win on the road of the AFL season, beating Hawthorn at the MCG.
Camera IconWest Coast have posted their first win on the road of the AFL season, beating Hawthorn at the MCG. Credit: AAP

Midfield aces Dom Sheed, Tim Kelly, and Andrew Gaff have powered West Coast to their first win away from Perth this AFL season.

In a dour scrap at the MCG, the Eagles had too much class for struggling Hawthorn to prevail by 38 points in front of just 15,277 fans on Mother's Day.

The small crowd sat through an early snoozefest, with neither team scoring a goal until four minutes into the second quarter - the first goal-less first term in normal length games since round four, 2012.

West Coast blew the game open with seven goals to two in the second term to set-up the 14.14 (98) to 8.12 (60) victory.

Star veteran Josh Kennedy was subbed out of the match in the last quarter and finished with ice on his right calf but the Eagles called the move precautionary.

West Coast's biggest win against the Hawks at the MCG could have been even larger as they dominated inside-50s 63-35.

The win - their first in four attempts in Victoria this year - will be of sweet relief to Eagles coach Adam Simpson.

The 2018 premiership coach labelled his team "weak" and "embarrassing" in their 97-point thrashing at the hands of the Cats in Geelong two weeks ago.

"It was important we had a good effort today, and I've said to the players we get criticised for it a little bit but it's not about winning away from home, it's about playing consistent football that stands up," Simpson said.

"We haven't been doing that consistently enough, particularly away, so to play four quarters of the style we like ... I felt like we played more of a complete performance than we have in previous interstate trips."

Flag hero Sheed (35 possessions) and former Cats onballer Kelly set the tone, taking full advantage of ruckman Nic Naitanui's slick tap work.

Joined by Gaff (38 touches), the trio were shining lights during the largely uneventful round-eight contest.

Brendon Ah Chee provided a spark up forward for the Eagles, slotting the game's first two goals and finished with a career-high of four majors.

Champion Hawks midfielder Tom Mitchell was up to his normal tricks with 41 possessions while teammates Jarman Impey and James Worpel also battled hard.

Star Hawks forward Jack Gunston was a late withdrawal due to back spasms.

"We've got to remain philosophical. We've got three young forwards with no more than 30 games between the three of them," Hawks coach Alastair Clarkson said.

"We were under enormous heat over the course of the game and we just couldn't get the territory to get the game played in our half."

West Coast moved to a 5-3 record ahead on next Sunday's match against Adelaide at Optus Stadium, while the 17th-placed Hawks host winless North Melbourne in Launceston on Saturday.

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