We analyse the Hawks’ outstanding 2014 season.
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What went right:
The Hawks were excellent all year, and despite some minor slip ups they are deserved premiers.
After the loss to Lance Franklin to the Swans, many doubted Hawthorn’s credentials to go back-to-back but Alastair Clarkson’s side did it in style.
Hawthorn finished equal top during the home-and-away season and whilst they were lucky to beat a rampaging Port Adelaide outfit in the preliminary final, they were simply outstanding in their 63-point grand final win over Sydney.
What went wrong:
Not much at all, really.
Yes, the Hawks slipped up against the North Melbourne in round 16 and Fremantle in round 21, but they bounced back with a vengeance the week after both losses.
One of its lesser performances came against Port Adelaide in the preliminary final when they allowed the Power to run all over them in the second half.
If it wasn’t for Port’s inaccurate kicking, the Hawks would not have ended up as premiers this season, let alone appear in the grand final.
It’s drawing a long bow however as the Hawks were the standout team all year.
The usuals: Luke Hodge, Jarryd Roughead, Sam Mitchell, Josh Gibson and Jordan Lewis.
Add in some quality performances from Will Langford, Jack Gunston, Luke Breust and Paul Puopolo and you have a well-rounded side who at their best are almost impossible to beat.
You could throw in some more names too, such was the quality all around the field for the Hawks in 2014.
The Hawks will back themselves to go back-to-back-to-back and who could argue with them?
Hawthorn destroyed their nearest rivals in every facet of the game on Saturday and when you add in a fully fit Cyril Rioli – and possibly James Frawley – they will go in as favourites in 2015.
Season score: 9.5/10