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Hawkins back to game-winning form, says Lonergan

Highlights: Geelong v Carlton The Cats and Blues clash in round 12
Tom Hawkins was back to his dominant best with a haul of four goals against the Blues - ${keywords}
Tom Hawkins was back to his dominant best with a haul of four goals against the Blues

KEY FORWARD Tom Hawkins is once again "a genuine matchwinner" according to his teammate Tom Lonergan.

Lonergan, once Geelong’s leading goalkicker in 2008, but now one of the AFL’s best full-backs, watched Hawkins be the difference between the Cats and the Blues with four goals in the second quarter.

"I'm glad he's on my team," Lonergan told AFL.com.au.

Hawkins is the clubhouse leader in the Coleman Medal after his four-goal haul, having kicked 32 for the season.

He also brought up his 250th career goal during the Friday night’s clash at Etihad Stadium.

"He is enormous in every way possible and he just pushes blokes out of the way and he has obviously got his confidence right up at the moment," Lonergan said.

Cats coach Chris Scott admitted after that Hawkins had been the difference between a win and a loss for Geelong.

"He was very hard to stop early and probably could have, but for a few strange occurrences, been even more dominant than he was," Scott said.

"When we got the ball to him with any sort of fluency he looked like doing something with it, and even when he was out of position he gave a terrific contest."  

Hawkins took 10 marks, had 11 contested possessions, kicked four goals straight and had four score assists.

His only blunder came in the last quarter when his boot hit the ground as he took a set shot. He was distracted when the umpire called play on because the forward had taken too long before taking his kick.

Scott suggested Hawkins doesn’t get enough protection from the umpires but didn't want to dwell on the issue. 

The coach figures most key forwards could make the same complaint.

The complaints about Hawkins himself are long gone.

Once as unloved as a fading tattoo, the 25-year-old is now the poster boy for patience after coming of age in the 2011 finals series.

"He's playing some great footy," Lonergan said.