HAWTHORN 4.4 10.8 15.8 17.13 (115) MELBOURNE 2.1 4.5 7.8 9.11 (65)
GOALS Hawthorn: Roughead 5, Breust 3, Hill 2, Smith 2, Hale, Lewis, Shiels, Puopolo, Schoenmakers. Melbourne: Gawn 2, Riley, Dawes, Kent, Tyson, Frawley, Kennedy-Harris, Viney.
BEST Hawthorn: Lewis, Roughead, Hodge, Mitchell, Shiels, Birchall. Melbourne: Tyson, Jones, Gawn, Howe, Vince, Cross.
REPORT Hawthorn: J Roughead (Hawthorn) for tripping D Tyson (Melbourne) in the second quarter.
UMPIRES Ben Ryan, Jeff Dalgleish, Nicholas Foot.
CROWD 37,082 at MCG.
Hawthorn has maintained its charge towards a top-two finish with a clinical 50-point win over Melbourne at the MCG, but the Hawks are in danger of losing Jarryd Roughead after the spearhead was reported for tripping.
On a sweet and sour night for Roughead, he booted five goals to remain right in the hunt for a second Coleman Medal, but he went into the umpire's book early in the second quarter after a misjudged attempt to spoil saw him catch Dom Tyson with his left leg.
The 27-year-old has 64 carryover points after pleading guilty to a rough conduct charge against Sydney's Ben McGlynn earlier this season, with any negative finding by the match review panel almost certain to attract a suspension.
The report was one of the few concerns for Alastair Clarkson arising out of the business-like display that saw his side break the game open with a six-goal second quarter.
The Hawks face a tough trip to Perth to take on Fremantle next week as they look to continue to gather momentum heading into the finals, but Clarkson was reluctant discuss the prospect of facing the Dockers without his most important forward.
"I haven't really seen [the incident], so better for the authorities to look at that rather than me," Clarkson said.
"It wouldn't be ideal [if he missed]. We'll just wait and see what happens. We can't do anything about it. The tribunal will look after it during the week. If we've got him, great, if we haven't, we'll have to get by without him, won't we?
"It's no different to any other week. Whether it's injuries or suspensions, you just deal with it as best you can. But there's nothing we can do about it now. We just wait and see what happens throughout the course of the week."
The match, played in front of 37,082 fans at the MCG, did not reach any great heights as a spectacle, but Clarkson was pleased with the output of some of his key players.
Jordan Lewis led the way with 34 disposals and Luke Hodge, Sam Mitchell, Grant Birchall and Liam Shiels were prominent in the 17.13 (115) to 9.11 (65) win.
Paul Roos made five changes to the side that fumbled its way to a disheartening loss to Brisbane last round, but there was little perceptible difference in on-field performance in a sloppy opening to the game.
But, surprisingly enough, the ladder-leading Hawks weren't much better, with neither side able to hit the scoreboard until David Hale missed a set shot in the ninth minute.
It took the class of Roughead to snap the Hawks out of their stupor with the first two goals of the game. The Demons quickly found themselves 22 points in arrears, but they fought back with Nathan Jones and Daniel Cross leading the way with Tyson, Dean Kent and James Frawley and they within striking distance, 15 points down, at the first break.
Bradley Hill made the most of his opportunities to boot back-to-back goals as the Hawks made their move in the second quarter. With Jack Gunston sidelined with a knee injury, the high-powered Hawthorn attack didn't miss a beat as it capitalised on the hard work of Lewis, Mitchell and Hodge further afield.
The margin was 39 points at half-time and stretched to 56 before the Demons enjoyed a bright patch in the third quarter that saw Jay Kennedy-Harris and substitute Aidan Riley split the middle.
With the game well in his keeping, Clarkson had the luxury of subbing out Hodge at three-quarter time, but the skipper didn't have much to get excited about early in the final term as the Hawks coasted instead of going for the jugular.
The Demons, to their credit, did not stop working and were rewarded with a goal to Tyson, who was Melbourne's best with 30 touches in an onball brigade that was well beaten.
The loss was Melbourne's seventh in succession, but Roos felt there were several positives to be taken from the performance.
"It was definitely a huge learning curve for us against a really good team," Roos said.
"Probably in the past I suspect this club might have gone down by a 100-plus points, but I thought today we fought it out and I was really pleased with the second half.
"I was just really pleased that there seemed to be some grit there and some intent."
With the match fizzling out, Paul Puopolo had Hawthorn fans on their feet with a spectacular mark and goal after he launched himself on to the back of Bernie Vince, while Roughead had a chance to further enhance his Coleman Medal chances with a set shot after the siren, but he pushed his attempt from 40m out to the right.
While one selection option may be taken from Clarkson by the MRP, he will gain another with Brian Lake available after serving a four-match ban, but the coach said that he would need to assess whether the important backman came back via the VFL.