Once bitten, twice shy. 

After coughing up a seven-goal lead a week ago in Adelaide, Hawthorn showed it had learned a valuable lesson on Sunday, holding off Brisbane in the fourth quarter to secure a gutsy 25-point win at Marvel Stadium. 

When the Lions dominated the third term a sense of déjà vu hovered above Docklands after the Hawks had led by six goals in the first half, but in a sign of maturity, Hawthorn absorbed Brisbane’s best flurry of punches to grind out a 15.10 (100) to 10.15 (75) win. 

The Hawks have now won four of their past six games – and five in a row against the Lions – continuing an early season revival after starting 2024 with five consecutive losses. 

Finals might be beyond them in Sam Mitchell's third season at the helm, but after a slow start to 2023 that ended with seven wins, the rebuild project at Waverley Park is on track. 

This time last year, Jack Gunston wasn't part of that project, but on Sunday he was one of the most influential players on the ground, kicking a game-high four goals from seven marks, while also limiting the influence of Brisbane co-captain Harris Andrews, in his first appearance against his old side after returning home on deadline day.   

After missing the past two games against St Kilda and Port Adelaide due to a dislocated shoulder, Hawthorn skipper James Sicily made a strong return to help guide the Hawks home, finishing with 26 disposals, eight intercepts and eight marks. 

Unlike last Sunday at the Adelaide Oval, Hawthorn controlled the play in the final term. Blake Hardwick wasn’t sent back until the final three minutes. Mitchell spent the final 30 minutes on the bench, rather than in the box and was beaming when Luke Breust kicked a goal after the final siren to put the icing on the cake. 

Former Hawk Brandon Ryan kicked the opening goal of the game inside the first minute, but from there Hawthorn controlled most of the next 120 minutes. 

Dayne Zorko has been a revelation at half-back this year, but the 35-year-old had a couple of costly moments in quick succession early. The first was a high tackle on Jack Ginnivan, the second was a 50m penalty against Will Day that made it four in a row for the Hawks. 

It took an errant handball from Sicily to gift Brisbane its next goal early in the second quarter, but it didn’t change things. Mabior Chol kicked two goals in a matter of minutes, either side of a Dylan Moore goal to extend the margin to five goals.

Zac Bailey took some time to get going but he produced a moment of pure class to kick an important goal in time-on, before Logan Morris narrowed the margin by slotting his second goal from a tight angle. Gunston ended the run with a goal on the half-time siren. 

After kicking five goals against Richmond to collect the round 10 Rising Star nomination, Kai Lohmann slotted the first two goals of the second half to cut the margin to less than a couple of kicks.

Joe Daniher then reduced the margin to just four points when he converted his first, but just like he did late in the second quarter, Gunston kicked his third in the final minute to end a dominant but wasteful patch for the Lions.

Dual Brownlow Medallist Lachie Neale changed the game, putting the ball inside 50 with five of his eight disposals in that quarter alone, accumulating 334 metres gained.

But after enduring a tough trip home to Melbourne last Sunday night, Hawthorn flipped the script seven days later, putting the Lions’ season on the brink after round 11.

HAWTHORN    4.3    9.5     10.8    15.10 (100)
BRISBANE     1.3     5.5     8.12     10.15 (75)

Hawthorn: Gunston 4, Chol 3, Dear 2, McDonald, Day, Ginnivan, Mackenzie, Moore, Breust
Brisbane: Lohmann 2, Bailey 2, Morris 2, Cameron, Daniher, Ryan

Hawthorn: Gunston, Worpel, Day, Sicily, D'Ambrosio, Frost, Amon
Brisbane: Neale, Dunkley, Berry, Lohmann

Hawthorn: Meek (ankle)  
Brisbane: TBC

Hawthorn:  Luke Breust replaced Calsher Dear in the fourth quarter
Brisbane: Harry Sharp replaced Brandon Ryan at three-quarter time

Crowd: 29,664 at Marvel Stadium