Hawthorn have emerged from a bruising encounter against North Melbourne at Etihad Stadium with an impressive 60-point victory.
But Saturday night’s 19.16 (130) to 10.10 (70) win might come at a cost for the Hawks, with incidents involving Luke Hodge and Jordan Lewis likely to be assessed by the match review panel.
The game got off to a fiery start with the Hawks’ skipper catching counterpart Andrew Swallow in the jaw with a swinging left arm, then Jordan Lewis felled Todd Goldstein with an old-fashioned coat hanger just minutes later.
Swallow recovered from the initial hit but ended the night subbed out with a concussion after a third-quarter clash with Ben Stratton.
A week after Hawthorn got off to a terrible start against Port Adelaide, Alastair Clarkson’s men had the better of the opening term and led by 21 points at the first break, with Sam Mitchell, who finished with 33 possessions, important early.
The pace of the game lifted even further in the second quarter, but both teams struggled to hit the scoreboard.
The Kangaroos trailed by 23 points as the third term got underway and couldn’t go with the Hawks, who flew away to a 41-point lead.
Jack Ziebell was important as North fought back late, but it was still Hawthorn by 35 points at three-quarter time.
Brad Scott’s side desperately needed the first goal of the last, but Gunston added the third of his four majors to spark a seven-goal quarter that sealed the Hawks’ third win of the season.