Hawthorn can match a club-record 12-match winning streak when they host Brisbane Lions in Tasmania this afternoon. We’ll have live scores from 1.10pm AEST.
Hawthorn have been tested in their past two matches – consecutive Friday night encounters with Carlton and then West Coast – but were able to record relatively comfortable 15 and 20-point wins.
Since collapsing late against the Cats in Round 1 Hawthorn have been irrepressible in 2013 and a win this afternoon would equal a 52-year-old club record for most consecutive victories.
Alastair Clarkson has made three forced changes for this afternoon. Grant Birchall will miss the next six weeks with a posterior cruciate ligament injury picked up against the Eagles, while Max Bailey (knee soreness) and Brent Guerra (back) also are unavailable.
The match will mark the return of Brendan Whitecross, who plays his first game back from an anterior cruciate ligament injury suffered in the 2012 finals series, Isaac Smith comes back in and Jonathon Ceglar makes his AFL debut.
Brisbane come to Melbourne buoyed by last Sunday night’s stunning comeback win over Geelong at the Gabba.
Trailing by 52 points late in the third term the Lions stormed home thanks to eight goals in the final quarter, with Ashley McGrath kicking a major after the siren in his 200th AFL game to seal the victory.
At 4-8 finals is still a near impossibility for Brisbane but the win does ease the pressure on Michael Voss as he tries to rebuild the side into a finals contender.
Voss has rewarded the 22 players who secured the four points last Sunday by naming an unchanged lineup, with Rohan Bewick, James Polkinghorne and Matt Maguire being named as emergencies.
The Hawks have won the past three matches between the two sides by an average of 60 points although Brisbane have tasted success in Tasmania, recording a 42-point win at Aurora Stadium back in 2009.
After the high of last weekend Brisbane should come prepared to play this afternoon, but it won’t be enough considering the form that the Hawks are in at the moment.