Clarkson won’t be drawn on umpire debate after loss


Hawthorn coach Alastair Clarkson refused to entertain debate about contentious umpiring decisions late in his side’s capitulation to the Western Bulldogs on Sunday as the Hawks licked their wounds following an afternoon during which they lost both Liam Shiels and Shaun Burgoyne to hamstring injuries.

Despite dominating the inside 50 count in the first half, the Dogs trailed by 30 points seven minutes into the final term before mounting a mighty comeback, kicking eight goals to nil in 23 minutes to secure a stunning 19 point win at the MCG.

Submissive: Alastair Clarkson said Hawthorn ‘deserved to be beaten’ by the Dogs.Credit:AAP

Shiels and Burgoyne were both sidelined as their side fell in a hole late in the game. The pair will be assessed, with the Hawks bracing for both to be absent in the coming weeks, further stretching a midfield group already without Brownlow Medallist Tom Mitchell. The Hawks have games against North Melbourne, St Kilda, Geelong and Carlton in the next month.

The Dogs’ surge was also noteworthy for a pair of eyebrow-raising free kicks paid against Hawks James Worpel and James Sicily respectively. Worpel was pinged for a centre square infringement, while Sicily applied off-the-ball contact to Bulldogs spearhead Josh Schache, with both frees leading to goals.



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