Hawthorn Hawks coach Alastair Clarkson.
Hawthorn Hawks coach Alastair Clarkson. Michael Dodge / Getty Images

Hawks determined to rewrite past by focusing on the future

IT SEEMS appropriate that on Easter Monday, Geelong is playing its bunny, Hawthorn.

The Cats have won their past nine games against the Hawks, dating back to the opening round of 2009.

Only North Melbourne has a longer live winning streak against an opposition team, with its run of success against Melbourne at 10 games.

But Hawks coach Alastair Clarkson said yesterday, his side was "not worried about the past".

"It's all about tomorrow and what we can do in the future," he said.

"They've had our measure the last little while but it's not like they've wiped us off the park.

"We've been a pretty good side and hopefully go a little bit better tomorrow.

"We need to persevere. Even our side from this time last year is a little bit different again.

"We're playing a first gamer in Jed Anderson and another young player in Bradley Hill, who has gained some exposure to the level over the past 12 months.

"We're hopeful a couple of changes to our side may help us get across the line against them."

The Hawks lost by two points both times they met the Cats in 2012, the second an absolute classic in which Tom Hawkins kicked the match-winning goal from 55m out - after the siren.

But, when they clash at the MCG this afternoon, the Hawks will not have had a better opportunity over the last four years to get one over their arch rival.

While this season's premiership favourite will be missing skipper Luke Hodge, the Hawks won't have to deal with a host of Cats stars who usually torment them.

Matthew Scarlett is, of course, retired, while prime movers James Kelly and Steve Johnson are both suspended, and ageing workhorse Joel Corey rested after an interrupted pre-season.

The Cats are also without star ruck recruit Hamish McIntosh though Jared Rivers and Josh Caddy will make their first appearances for them.

The Hawks, meanwhile, are set to unveil their prized recruit, fullback Brian Lake, to line-up on Hawkins, alongside promising NT youngster Anderson on debut.