LANCE Franklin had "good fun" playing against Hawthorn for the first time, but is now looking forward to capturing top form with a Sydney Swans side that has roared back into premiership calculations.
Franklin never stopped trying against the club where he played 182 games, kicked 580 goals and won two flags, but still looked in danger of ending up on the losing side at ANZ Stadium on Friday night.
Seven shots over the first three quarters produced seven behinds, before Franklin started looking for teammates rather than continuing to pepper the goals.
He found his range when it counted, however, nailing two last-quarter goals in the Swans' 15.17 (107) to 13.10 (88) win
, a fourth straight victory that puts them into fourth place at the start of the bye rounds.
Asked afterwards if he was worried he'd blown a chance to knock off his old side, Franklin said: "Not at all. I wasn't thinking about my goalkicking at all.
"I knew if I stuck to the defensive side of my game, which was a focus coming into it, that I'd be in it.
"Fortunately enough I was able to kick two in the last and a couple of other boys popped up and kicked goals too, which were really important for the team."
Franklin was under an injury cloud all week due to his troublesome right knee injury, although he was always confident he would make it to the starting line.
He said there hadn't been much chat out on the ground, although Jordan Lewis "was a little bit chirpy, like he always is", while Franklin enjoyed having some time on great mate Josh Gibson.
But after an extended build-up, it was clearly a relief for 'Buddy' just to have the game out of the way.
"I wanted to definitely play, and if it was any other team, I would've played too," Franklin said.
"It made no difference who the opposition was, I just want to get out here each week. Hopefully I can get some consistency back in my game and get back to my best football.
"It's good to get it over and done with early, but I'm at a new football club and I'm enjoying my time here.
"Now we just look forward to playing some other teams."
It was the first time Franklin, Kurt Tippett (four goals), Adam Goodes and Sam Reid were all selected in the same team, and coach John Longmire knows the quartet will improve each time they can line up together.
Longmire also insists he wasn't getting frustrated by Franklin's repeated misses.
"I was just hoping he'd kick the next two and he did," Longmire said.
"He had plenty of the ball and certainly looked really lively, and kicked two critical goals in the last quarter that helped us win.
"Clearly it would've been great if he kicked 7.2, but he was getting plenty of the ball, which was good."
Franklin's former coach Alastair Clarkson, however, was grateful the key forward's radar had largely misfired.
"We were really fortunate he didn't have his kicking shoes on tonight because he could quite easily have kicked five or six," Clarkson said.
"He did really well for them."