Luke Breust celebrates a goal with teammates during the match between Hawthorn and Greater Western Sydney at UTAS Stadium in round 13, 2024. Picture: Getty Images

GREATER Western Sydney coach Adam Kingsley isn't blaming the contentious late free kick that led to Luke Breust's game-winning goal for the Giants' shock six-point loss on Saturday. 

The Hawks veteran kicked the go-ahead goal with less than a minute remaining after Tom Green's late bump on Hawks skipper James Sicily resulted in a downfield free kick.

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Bruest, who started the game as the substitute, slotted the goal from near the posts to put his side ahead and secure the Hawks' fifth win in six games.

"I didn't see the free kick so I can't really comment on whether it was a free kick or not," he said.

"He's desperate to try and stop a score. Things happen when you're trying to stop a score. It is what it is, you move on."


Hawthorn coach Sam Mitchell also played a straight bat when asked about the free kick.

"I'm not sure. I haven't watched it again since. I was a bit worried Sicily has missed (his kick at goal)," he said.

The top-four aspirations of the Giants have copped a serious blow after the loss - they have dropped four of their past five games - but Kingsley is hopeful the return of some sidelined troops can help shake the club's mid-season lull. 

They won their first five games of the season but are now in danger of slipping out of the top eight altogether. 

Josh Kelly (calf) and Jack Buckley (calf) are expected to push for a return next round, while Lachie Ash (calf), Adam Kennedy (hamstring), James Leake (quad), Harry Perryman (hamstring) and Nathan Wardius (shin) are likely to be available over the coming month. 

"I felt like we had the game. We had the opportunity to potentially lock the game away and failed to do so," Kingsley said. 


"We had some moments where we were moving the ball well. 

"(But) they were able to stifle us. We were a bit patchy again, which was disappointing. 

"Most teams have had a bit of a lull. We've had a lull. 

"We kind of haven't found our way out of that even though we got a win a fortnight ago (against Geelong).

"You've just got to ride the bumps along the way ... and keep improving as individuals and hope the tide turns. I think it will for our group."


The Hawks were slow out of the blocks but sprung to life after the main break, kicking seven of the next nine goals to set up the season-shaping victory.

After starting the year 0-5, the Hawks have now won five of their past six games and are sitting just one game outside the top eight ahead of a clash with Richmond next week.

"Our challenge is right in front of us and we know that if we play our best, we'll give ourselves every chance," Mitchell said.


"The competition this year in particular is as close as any year, so we know a slight drop off and we fall right away and when we leave it all out there, then we're going to be right in games.

"Being in winnable positions more often was a big focus for this season, and sometimes you're on the right side of the ledger like we were today.

"We're really focused on what's right in front of us, we know we've got a long way to go and we're far from a finished product."

Greater Western Sydney has the chance to get its spluttering season back on track when it hosts Port Adelaide next Sunday, while the Hawks faced a buoyed Tigers outfit in Dustin Martin's 300th game on Saturday.