THREE goals from veteran Jess Duffin have propelled Hawthorn to its second win in as many weeks in almost identical circumstances to its maiden win last Friday.
In a match that went down to the wire, the Hawks claimed a three-point victory, 6.8 (44) to West Coast's 6.5 (41) at Skybus Stadium in Frankston.
Duffin, who hasn't played forward since the early years of AFLW, was deployed in attack when the Hawks had the advantage of the wind and broke the game open in the second quarter with three goals, putting her side in front at half-time after the Eagles got the fast start.
In the opening term West Coast came out with some real attacking intent. Working in waves, hitting neat handballs out in front of running teammates and isolating targets inside 50, it was some of the most exciting Eagles footy we've seen since they joined the AFLW. Off the back of that they slotted the opening three goals through Emma Swanson, Mikayla Western and Ella Roberts.
HAWKS V EAGLES Full match coverage and stats
The game came down to who could do more when they didn't have the wind, because scoring with it was a breeze. Hawthorn intelligently looked to run the ball forward when they were up against it, getting it in the hands of Aileen Gilroy, Tahlia Fellows, and Jasmine Fleming, while the Eagles struggled the transition forward under the same conditions.
Hawthorn spread the load, with no player in the brown and gold winning more than 15 touches, led by Gilroy (15), Fleming and Tilly Lucas-Rodd (14). Meanwhile Gilroy (10 tackles) and Tamara Smith (9) applied plenty of pressure across the ground.
West Coast's Swanson and Bella Lewis worked tirelessly across the ground, combining for 52 disposals, 16 clearances and 776 metres gained, but it wasn't enough to get the Eagles over the line.
Life now gets tough for a West Coast outfit that is pushing for its first ever finals series, with the Eagles slumping to a 2-4 record, sitting 12th on the ladder, while the Hawks have moved up to 14th.
A case of deja vu?
Last week against the Swans, Hawthorn conceded 4.2 (26) in the opening quarter, only to receive a spray from coach Bec Goddard and steadily peg back the margin to claim their first win. So, when West Coast kicked 4.2 (26) with the wind in the first quarter, Hawks fans were no doubt feeling a bit of deja vu. Just like last week, the Hawks turned up the pressure gauge in the second term and dominated territory, ultimately claiming their second win in two weeks.
1323 days later...
After playing as a forward for Collingwood in the very first AFLW season, kicking six goals in the process, Jess Duffin became an All-Australian defender at North Melbourne. But on Friday she was back in the forward line when the Hawks had the advantage of the wind and marked everything in her vicinity. 1323 days - and a season out to give birth to daughter Georgie - after kicking her last goal, Duffin piled on three in the second quarter alone to put the Hawks in front at half-time and proving to be the difference in the game.
Hawthorn will return to Skybus Stadium on Saturday evening to host Port Adelaide, while the Eagles head back to their home ground of Mineral Resources Park to take on Richmond on Friday night.
HAWTHORN 1.2 5.4 5.6 6.8 (44)
WEST COAST 4.2 4.2 5.5 6.5 (41)
Hawthorn: Duffin 3, Fellows, Lucas-Rodd, McDonagh
West Coast: Swanson, Western, Roberts, Lewis, Britton, Schmidt
Hawthorn: Gilroy, Duffin, Fleming, Smith
West Coast: Lewis, Swanson, Lakay, Thomas
West Coast: Nil
Reports: Tegan Cunningham (Hawthorn) for a bump on Charlotte Thomas (West Coast)
Crowd: 1,565 at Skybus Stadium