Players leave the field after the round nine match between Hawthorn and St Kilda at University of Tasmania Stadium, May 11, 2024. Picture: Getty Images

SAM MITCHELL doubts a rare visit to Launceston will put Greater Western Sydney off its game.

The bigger issue for the Hawthorn coach is whether his emerging team can make the most of a proven home-ground advantage in Tasmania and continue an encouraging run of form.

The Giants have played in Launceston only three times, most recently their 2021 COVID-19 elimination final win over Sydney.

"Their attitude last year, it became a bit public, that 'anywhere, any time' was their mantra," Mitchell said of the Giants.

"It's not as much of an advantage perhaps (than it is) against some other teams who don't (travel) as often as they do.


"They've proven over a long period of time that they're really competitive on any ground. (GWS coach) Adam Kingsley has them humming along at every ground, regardless of how that's played."

Hawthorn boasts a 58-20 record at the ground, with one draw, and there is no doubt the venue improves their chances for Saturday's match.

"The thing about going to Launceston is we have great confidence there, because our performances have been good," Mitchell said.

"It's comfortable surroundings, we stay in the same hotel, we have the same meeting rooms, the same meeting times, we even have the same hotel room every time we go there, pretty much.

Connor Macdonald celebrates a goal during the round nine match between Hawthorn and St Kilda at UTAS Stadium, May 11, 2024. Picture: Getty Images

"When you have that level of comfort in an area, we know the fans always turn up for us and are always supportive, whenever we have our captain's run ... it makes for a feeling of confidence, and hopefully we can take that into the game."

Hawthorn tore Adelaide apart early last week and has won four of its past five games.

The Giants, by contrast, have faltered since their hot start to the season and badly needed the away win over Geelong heading into last week's bye.

"We know their best is as good as we've seen, and their start of the season was phenomenal," Mitchell said.

Josh Weddle and Xavier O'Halloran during the round 17 match between Greater Western Sydney and Hawthorn at GIANTS Stadium, July 8, 2023. Picture: AFL Photos

"They moved the ball so well, and defensively they've just re-signed (Sam) Taylor for a long extension, it will give them some confidence."

For all of the Hawks' undoubted improvement this season, Mitchell knows they will need to step up again if they are to challenge the Giants.

"We know we're going to have to play our best footy,'' he said.

"We're at a point where we're playing a little bit better, but we know we're only 'this' close to falling away and 'this' close to being able to compete with the very best.

"The challenge is right in front of us."