Hawks’ AFL flag tilt back on track

Hawthorn played like they had a point to prove against Adelaide and their message was loud and clear: ‘we’re not done yet’.

The Hawks copped plenty of criticism for their uncharacteristic performance against West Coast at Subiaco last week but in demolishing the Crows by 74 points they put their campaign for a third premiership in succession back on track in emphatic fashion.

“Last week we were pretty terrible, we just didn’t play the Hawthorn way, but we got back to that tonight, which was good,” Isaac Smith said.

“The boys were really disappointed in how we played last week. I don’t think we’ve turned in a performance like that for a few years and we don’t usually play two bad ones in a row.

“You try and work out what you didn’t do right. Everyone obviously had a look at their performances and decided that they probably needed to change a few things.

“It was a bad performance but I think we showed tonight that we’ve still got a little bit in us.”

Skipper Luke Hodge wore a lot of the criticism that came with the qualifying final loss to the Eagles and he was stung into action with four goals in a display that set the tone early.

Smith, who was also quiet against West Coast after battling a knee injury during the week, was back to his line-breaking best in a 21-possession, two-goal display.

A preliminary final against minor premiers Fremantle at Subiaco awaits, with Smith confident the Hawks will give a much better account of themselves this time around.

“They’ll have had the week off and freshened up a little bit and we didn’t play the ground too well last week,” he said.

“But we know that when we bring our best footy we can compete with anyone.”

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