Lewis backs Hawks to rebound in AFL

The last time Hawthorn lost in the opening two rounds was 2009 – when as reigning premiers they failed to make the AFL finals.

But Hawks star Jordan Lewis expects an immediate improvement after they started their quest for a fourth-straight premiership with the Easter Monday loss to Geelong.

Hawthorn coach Alastair Clarkson and his players frequently refer to the disaster that was 2009, saying it continues to motivate them.

After upsetting Geelong to win the 2008 grand final, Hawthorn plummeted out of the top eight the following year.

And the challenges are coming early this season for the Hawks, who next play West Coast on Sunday at the MCG in the grand final rematch.

Already without premiership players Jarryd Roughead, Liam Shiels and Bradley Hill because of injury, they could be without captain Luke Hodge for a month with a broken arm.

“Our fingers are still crossed that it’s not as bad as we think,” Lewis said of Hodge.

Lewis pointed to Hawthorn’s ability to repeatedly overcome obstacles over the last three seasons.

“Our history shows we enjoy challenge – we don’t really like doing things the easy way,” he said.

“People are trying to look for excuses on why we will fall, whether it’s injuries, whether it’s form, whether it’s age.

“As players and competitors, we don’t worry about that.

“We worry about who we’re playing this week and who’s on the track.”

He added it was far too early to tell how the re-cast Hawks side is performing.

“Anything that involves change, you can’t really take a snapshot in one week,” he said.

“We need to learn over three, four (weeks) and even longer to see where it will work.

“We have complete confidence in the coaching staff and our ability to play the game.

“We’re not just going to throw everything out the window after just one game.”

While noting that the Eagles will want redemption on Sunday after their poor performance in the grand final, Lewis said the Hawks also have plenty of motivation.

“As a side, we typically bounce back well after a (loss),” he said.

“You use that anger that’s probably built up after a loss to really drive your performance against West Coast this week.

“Any loss we have throughout the year, when we come up against that side (again), we want to redeem ourselves.

“That’s certainly the way that I think they’d be approaching it.

“We need to be really on our game.”

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