This clash between first and 14th suddenly has a bit more spice after the Brisbane Lions' incredible comeback from 52 points down against Geelong last week
. The after-the-siren victory could see the Lions hitting Hawthorn chock full of confidence, or they may be a little flat after a healthy celebration. The Hawks will be shooting for a 12th straight win, which would level the club's all-time longest winning streak, set in the premiership year of 1961.
WHERE AND WHEN: Aurora Stadium, Sunday June 30, 1.10pm
LAST FIVE TIMES
R12, 2012, Hawthorn 19.21 (135) d Brisbane Lions 11.4 (70) at the MCG
R16, 2011, Hawthorn 16.9 (105) d Brisbane Lions 9.9 (63) at Aurora Stadium
R16, 2010, Hawthorn 17.16 (118) d Brisbane Lions 7.1 (43) at Aurora Stadium
R12, 2009, Brisbane Lions 13.15 (93) d Hawthorn 7.9 (51) at Aurora Stadium
R19, 2008, Hawthorn 16.14 (110) d Brisbane Lions 5.11 (41) at Aurora Stadium
THE SIX POINTS
1. Shaun Burgoyne was the star the last time these two teams met, gathering 25 disposals, laying seven tackles and booting two goals. For switching with ease from defence to the midfield and into attack, the veteran earned the tag 'Mr Fix-it' from Hawks coach Alastair Clarkson after the match. Lance Franklin booted five goals in the 65-point win, taking his tally against the Lions to 36 from 10 games.
2. Hawthorn has won 12 of its past 13 matches in Launceston, including seven by more than 50 points. The Lions have made four trips to Aurora Stadium for only one win – against the Hawks in 2009. Their three losses at the venue have been by an average of 62 points.
3. Luke Breust's star continues to rise, after his bag of three goals against West Coast last week. Not only has the 22-year-old booted 23 goals and averaged 4.3 tackles a game this season, he's also ranked No.2 in the AFL in goal assists with 15, one behind leader Mathew Stokes. The young Hawk is the fourth-ranked forward in the Official AFL Player Ratings
, and has risen to 34th overall.
4. Well beaten in centre clearances for the past two weeks, the Hawks will be mindful of the dangerous Lions ruck-rover combination of Matthew Leuenberger and Brent Moloney. Along with veteran Simon Black, the pair was instrumental in Sunday's final quarter surge. Moloney had 11 of his 22 disposals in the final quarter, and finished with eight clearances, including three from the centre square.
5. Hawthorn is one of the competition leaders at finding the ball in space, and stopping its opponents from doing the same. The Hawks average 26.9 more uncontested possessions than their opponents per match, ranked second behind only Essendon. The Lions rank a lowly 16th in the statistic, averaging 19.6 uncontested possessions less than their opponents each game. With an average of 18.8 uncontested possessions a week, Sam Mitchell ranks second in the AFL.
6. There's a major disparity between the two teams when it comes to winning the hard ball, too. Hawthorn ranks second behind Carlton in contested possession differential, averaging 11.2 more than its opponent per game. The Lions are again 16th, being beaten by an average of six contested possessions each week.