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Tom Hawkins: A picture of consistency for Geelong

Cats player Tom Hawkins. (AAP Image/Dave Hunt)
Roar Pro
14th August, 2018
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For all the criticism he receives, Geelong’s Tom Hawkins has the ability to be one of the game’s most damaging forwards.

After all, he has been the club’s leading goalkicker for the past six seasons and he will comfortably finish atop of the leaderboard again in 2018, with his 50 goals well and truly clear of Daniel Menzel, who is next best with 23.

When Hawkins lit up the 2011 grand final against Collingwood, many believed he was taking a big step towards becoming one of the superstars of the game.

On that day, the former father-son selection from the 2006 national draft finished with three goals and three behinds from 19 disposals.

But it wasn’t just the stat sheet where he was having an impact, it was his presence on the ground which made it feel like Hawkins was going to decide the outcome.

While he may not be performing to that sort of level on a regular enough basis for the Cats, there is no doubting his consistency has been key under Chris Scott.

But at times he has shown he can come to the fore in the big moments, for example his match-winning goal after the siren against Hawthorn in 2012.

In the past seven seasons, the 30-year-old has handled the pressure of being Geelong’s number one key forward well, having kicked more than 45 goals every year since 2012.

During that period, only two seasons have fallen below 50 – 2013 and 2015, when he recorded 49 and 46 resepectively.

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We only need to cast our memories back to a two-week period between Rounds 18 and 19 this season, when Hawkins kicked 14 goals across two games against Melbourne and Brisbane.

The performance against the Dees, in particular, came at a critical time in the Cats’ season, with their two-point victory edging them closer towards a finals berth, although things have gone south since.

In those two matches, Hawkins was opposed to undersized defenders Oscar McDonald and Sam Frost (Melbourne), while he took on the exciting Harris Andrews of Brisbane.

Hawkins’ performance against the Demons drew plaudits, with Gerard Healy suggesting his form at that stage of the season should have been considered among the game’s greats after demonstrating his ability to make the most of undersized defences.

After all, not many clubs possess a key defender with the strength of Alex Rance, who Hawkins enjoyed an intriguing battle with just over a fortnight ago.

With Geelong playing for their season in the final two weeks of the season, hosting the struggling Fremantle and Gold Coast Suns at home, they should claim all eight points on offer.

They still need a slice of luck to feature in September, but if Hawkins can find his best form, he and his team could cause some trouble in the finals.

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As it stands, the Cats need Hawkins more than ever.

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