Woosha at a loss over second Eagles thumping
West Coast's Josh Kennedy in action against the Hawks. Pic: Sharon Smith/WA News

West Coast plunged to a 0-2 start to the season on the back of a 50-point hammering from Hawthorn yesterday as the midfield absence of Nic Naitanui and Daniel Kerr hit home.

For the second time in as many games, the Eagles were thrashed in inside 50s at Patersons Stadium.

The count was 62-37 against the Hawks, after it was 61-38 against Fremantle in round one.

The ball is spending most of the game at the opposite end from in-form Josh Kennedy, who kicked five goals to keep the Eagles in the match until halfway through the last quarter, before they were overwhelmed 23.10 (148) to 15.8 (98).

Worsfold was last night pondering how best to handle the return of midfielder Kerr, who played his first game for the season on Saturday, for East Fremantle.

Critics also questioned whether the Eagles could cope in the absence of All-Australian ruckman Naitanui, as the Hawks proved far more effective at the clearances.

Worsfold was at a loss to explain why his players were so comprehensively outmatched in the vital inside-50 statistic.

"Their (Hawthorn's) ability to win the footy and go forward and get it inside 50 compared to ours was far superior," he said.

"I look at some of the figures from the game and things looked pretty good for us other than the fact that we went inside 50 less than 40 times again, which we did in round one.

"We score when we are going in and we are doing a lot of other good things, and we won the clearances this week, which is something we couldn't do against Fremantle, but the opposition are carrying the ball easily into their forward line."

Worsfold refused to blame the loss on the absence of Naitanui, Kerr and star forward Mark LeCras.

"We still went in with a pretty good side so disregard that (and) let's assess the guys we played and work through that," Worsfold said.

He said he was disappointed with the start to the season, but believed West Coast could turn it around.

"I am confident there are a lot of things working pretty well, but there is obviously something fairly drastic that we need to address," he said.

"We have played two pretty good top teams so it is all there for us to do. What we want to do and we are still aiming to show is that we are one of the really good teams in the competition.

"We will get measured on that over the next 20 weeks, but even in the short term over the next six weeks."

Hawthorn coach Alastair Clarkson said the win was outstanding.

"Coming off a six-day break and having to travel, it is an enormous assignment and for us to get the points under those circumstances was terrific," he said.

"But we have just got to get back to Melbourne and recover well and it doesn't get any easier next week against Collingwood."

The Hawks got outstanding service from forwards Lance Franklin (five goals), Cyril Rioli and Luke Breust (four each).

Luke Hodge made an outstanding return from an interrupted pre-season with 25 possessions, while midfielder Sam Mitchell and defender Grant Birchall vied for best on ground. Mitchell had 31 possessions and Birchall had 30.

The West Australian

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