Hawks left reeling from AFL shocker

Hawthorn are banking on their stellar AFL track record as they reel from a qualifying final shocker against West Coast.

The two-time defending premiers will now have to do it the hard way to make it three in a row, following Friday night’s 32-point loss in Perth.

They must negotiate next Friday night’s semi-final against the Western Bulldogs or Adelaide at the MCG.

If they win that, Hawthorn then travel again for a preliminary final against Fremantle or Sydney.

Hawks star Shaun Burgoyne says they have to focus only on next Friday and stay positive.

“We can’t look to two weeks’ time, whether that’s Sydney or here, that will just lead us into a trap,” he said.

“We really need to concentrate.

“We still have the belief – we came over here with belief and although we didn’t play the way we wanted to, that still stays there.”

Burgoyne was among several Hawks to have below-par nights.

While he kicked two last-quarter goals, the skilled utility had minimal influence.

“They just outworked us for the whole game – from the start, the first bounce,” he said.

“They play this oval really well and we just probably didn’t adapt to the conditions as well.

“We fumbled a bit and they were obviously first to the ball. They beat us everywhere.”

Burgoyne added it was a harsh and invaluable lesson for the Hawks, who have usually been the team doing the teaching for the past couple of seasons.

“We fully expected West Coast to come out on their home deck and play the way they did – we just weren’t up to it,” he said.

“It’s just a great learning curve for the group, to show what it takes to win finals.”

Burgoyne remains adamant the Hawks still have a shot.

“We really feel we have a good group that can challenge,” he said.

“The belief is still there that if we play the way the coaches want us to and the way we know we can, we can match it with anyone.

* All Offers and Promotions posted in this article excludes NSW residents.
Stay up to date with the latest sports news
Follow our social accounts to get exclusive content and all the latest sporting news!