Hawks players step up in huge West Coast victory

It was never going to be an easy battle for Hawthorn to come away from the West Coast with the points against their second place rivals but a string of eye-catching performances from the visitors helped secure a massive win for the Hawks against an in-form Eagles side. Five Hawthorn players racked up over 100 fantasy points in a remarkable weekend for fantasy coaches who have a heavy Hawks influence in their rosters. With the two sides battling it out for second and third place in the AFL ladder, it came as no surprise that it wasn’t until the final quarter before one team could start pulling away from the other, with the Hawks eventually seeing out an 88-74 victory.

The real star of the show for the Hawks was Liam Shiels, who helped himself to 130 fantasy points courtesy of an inspired defensive performance, producing 17 tackles and continuing another sensational personal campaign in the Hawthorn midfield. Having averaged over 100 fantasy points a game only once before in his career, 102.9 in 2001, Shiels is on target to achieve that feat this season if he can continue his brilliant run of form. The Eagles win was the seventh time this year in which the 24-year old has recorded over 100 fantasy points, and Shiels is rapidly repaying those coaches who selected him at the start of the year.

One of the reasons the Hawks have odds as short as 6/5 with the likes of bet365 is down to their strength in depth, and that was evident from the win against West Coast, with over half the team recording over 80 fantasy points in a solid team effort. While Shiels took most of the headlines, Jordan Lewis’ 30 touches saw him end the game with 118 points to his name, in yet another stand-out display for a player who is crucial to Hawthorn’s hopes this season. Sam Mitchell was another player who ended up with a number of back-slaps, racking up 36 disposals on his way to 117 points in an impressive all-round performance.

Luke Breust has never been the most prolific fantasy selection, passing the 100-point mark just once this season until the West Coast win. The forward was one of the Hawthorn heroes in the morale-boosting victory over the Eagles, scoring three goals and assisting another on his way to 107 points. Ben McEvoy is another player who had a slow start to the season, but it’s been a different story since he returned from injury, and his 100 fantasy points was the latest in a string of performances that bode extremely well heading into the finals.

For a team battling it out for second place behind runaway leaders Fremantle, having so many in-form players at the same time is going to be a huge boost for the Hawks. While this victory won’t have secured the second spot in the ladder, the Eagles will have been wounded by suffering a loss at their closest rivals at this point of the season. For Hawthorn, though, they look in great shaping heading into the most important part of the year.

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