Dunstall’s Hawks forced to settle for back-to-back flags
OVER the coming month, Hawthorn will look to achieve what the club couldn't in 1990 - a 'threepeat' of premierships.
After powering to flags in 1988, by a then-record margin of 96 points, and 1989, when holding off a gallant Geelong in one of the greatest grand finals of all-time, the Hawks finished fifth in 1990 after limping into the five-team finals series.
"We never looked like it in 1990," Hawk star Jason Dunstall recalled. "We were hanging by a thread and went out in week one of the finals.
"They (Melbourne) beat us in the last round and then in the elimination final.''
Dunstall, now a Fox Footy commentator, said the Hawks "had a lot of injuries" - one of them being a serious head injury to the reigning Coleman Medallist himself in round nine.
After spending some time in the Alfred Hospital, Dunstall returned in that infamous helmet after a month on the sidelines.
The Queenslander, who chose to play for the Hawks in 1984 after also receiving an offer to join Fitzroy, before going on to become a club captain, board member and one-time interim chief executive, spoke to the Hawks ahead of their push for a second straight-premiership last season and hopes they can match Brisbane's effort of 2001-2003.
"I think they've been a bit hot and cold, there's no doubt about that," he says.
"They've got a lot of experience there, got a lot of players who have been there, done that. Whether they can do it again, that remains to be seen."
The Hawks will have to win it this year from third place - and with the extra challenge of travelling to Perth in the first week of the finals - after finishing the home and away rounds first and second in 2013 and 2014 respectively, and hosting both qualifying and then preliminary finals.
"They've got a lot of work to do just to get there now they haven't finished top two," he said. "It makes life very, very difficult for them.
"Their best is still good enough …I've got my fingers crossed they can find their best form when the time comes."
Dunstall says it's hard to go past West Coast as premiership favourite, while fellow WA outfit Fremantle has its issues.
The Dockers claimed the minor premiership, but is ranked a lowly 11th for scoring.
"It's strange to say, but they've probably got the biggest question mark over them," Dunstall said. "They're on top of the table. They've played so well. But we wonder if they've got the scoring ability to win the flag."
AVE POINTS 2015 Hawthorn 111 West Coast 106 Adelaide 100 Bulldogs 96 Nth Melb 94 Sydney 91 Port Adelaide 91 Collingwood 90 Richmond 88 GWS Giants 85 Fremantle 84