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Hawthorn beats Carlton by 31 points in remarkable AFL comeback in Perth

Hawthorn has eased the pressure on coach Alastair Clarkson after coming from five goals down to beat Carlton by 31 points in Perth.

Playing not long after both clubs learned they had been fined by the AFL for COVID-19 protocol breaches, the Hawks looked headed for their fifth straight defeat after Carlton raced out to a 31-0 lead inside the opening 16 minutes.

But Hawthorn turned the match on its head from that point on, booting nine of the next 10 goals to set up the 14.5 (89) to 9.4 (58) win in front of 12,304 spectators.

The result leaves Hawthorn and Carlton both with 4-5 win-loss records.

Carlton skipper Patrick Cripps dominated the opening term with 11 disposals and three clearances, before finishing with 27 disposals, eight clearances and 1.2.

Cripps also earned seven free kicks for the match, a stark contrast to last week when the umpires failed to notice him being held off the ball against North Melbourne.

But he missed two big chances on goal when the Blues desperately needed to stem Hawthorn’s momentum.

Blues forward Levi Casboult (three goals) looked dangerous every time he flew for a mark, but he did not receive enough supply.

Hawthorn midfielder Tom Mitchell (28 disposals) was busy through the middle, while Jack Gunston booted three goals from 16 disposals and also took three contested marks.

Carlton made a dream start to the match, smashing the Hawks in all the major key stats to open up an imposing early lead with five goals on the board before their opponents could register their first point.

The Blues still led by 25 points early in the second quarter before the Hawks made their move.

The Hawks piled on six unanswered goals in the space of 17 minutes to take a 13-point lead into half-time, with Carlton made to pay dearly for a series of turnovers.

Hawthorn players mobbed Jarman Impey when the speedster kicked a goal in the third quarter in his first match back from a knee reconstruction.

The margin was 24 points at the final change, and the Blues were unable to breach the gap in the last quarter.


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