Hawthorn coach Alastair Clarkson says he will resist making wholesale changes despite his side's disappointing 16-point Monday night loss to Fremantle.
The rain stayed away at Optus Stadium but the Hawks booted just two goals in the first three quarters on the way to a 7.6 (48) to 4.8 (32) loss in front of a pro-Dockers crowd of 18,512.
Only a late goal to Luke Breust ensured Hawthorn avoided posting their lowest score under Clarkson.
The final margin flattered the Hawks, who were forced to defend grimly for long periods and were horribly outclassed when going forward.
The Hawks lost the contested possession battle 131-117 and overall possession count 380-281.
The defeat, which came just a week after posting a promising win over Carlton, left Hawthorn precariously-placed at 4-6 ahead of a tough clash with premiership favourites West Coast.
With finals action now unlikely, some fans and experts are calling for Clarkson to play more younger players.
But he doesn't want to throw too many in at once, believing they will be better served by drip-feeding them in so they can play alongside battle-hardened players.
"We've always had the philosophy of not trying to bring too many young fellas into the side all at once," Clarkson said.
"We've got some lads who have been playing well at the level below and we need to give those guys an opportunity in the next week or two and we'll see where it goes from there.
"But we don't want to make wholesale changes to our side.
"Our philosophy has been that they need to play with experienced and mature bodies to help them grow and learn the craft of the game.
"There will be some that say that's not the right philosophy. It's been ours for a long time and it's worked OK for us."
The Hawks lost Isaac Smith to a shoulder injury earlier in the second quarter, while Fremantle forward Travis Colyer went down with a hamstring injury.
Star Hawthorn midfielder Tom Mitchell battled hard for 32 disposals and eight clearances but the Hawks simply couldn't match Fremantle's intensity.
Andrew Brayshaw (33 disposals), Nat Fyfe (28) and Adam Cerra (26) were outstanding for the Dockers, while Matt Taberner booted two goals and offered a constant target up forward.
Fremantle coach Justin Longmuir heaped praise on Brayshaw and Cerra, who combined brilliantly in the midfield.
Cerra's clean disposal by foot was a highlight.
"They've worked their backsides off to improve their game and they're bearing the fruit of that," Longmuir said.
"You're starting to see Cerra's composure, his ability to hit targets others probably can't hit.
"And Andy's just playing to his strengths, with his in and under."
Australian Associated Press