Hawks to attack Saints with renewed belief

Jason Phelan
AAP
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Hawks to attack Saints with renewed belief

Hawthorn coach Alastair Clarkson admits the Hawks' confidence took a beating during their 0-4 start to the season.

But Clarkson's side rediscovered some of its old swagger in the morale-boosting win over West Coast and will attack St Kilda in Launceston on Saturday with renewed belief.

"Confidence comes and goes," Clarkson said on Friday.

"You don't lose two games by 86 points unless you're a little bit down in terms of the way you go about it.

"Whether that's to do with your systems or your individual confidence to execute the skills of the game.

"That can come and go, but to a man, we were just more even across the whole team last week, and that makes a huge difference.

"We're going to need that again (against St Kilda) because if we've got 10 or 12 of our players below their best then we probably won't win."

Hawthorn regain boom recruit Jaeger O'Meara from a two-game absence with bone bruising in his troublesome knee, but lose star forward Cyril Rioli to a hip injury.

The four-time premiership player and Norm Smith medallist was one of several veterans to snap a run of indifferent form against the Eagles.

"Cyril took that speccy and maybe won mark of the year, but misses the next week with a jarred hip, so that's a bit of a shame," Clarkson said.

"It will be more difficult to win without him but our view has always been to make sure we take fit players.

"He might have been able to get there but we just don't want to take a risk with a player of his quality ... hopefully we'll get him right this week and he'll be available next week."

Hawthorn's confidence will be further boosted by the return to their Launceston fortress where they've won a remarkable 19 games in a row.

But the venue will hold no fears for the Saints, who held a late lead over the Hawks in round four last season before suffering a three-point defeat.

"If we're going to try to get ourselves back into the season then it's really important that we win this game," the coach said.

"Who knows what happens from there?

"It will make it so much tougher if we can't but we're coming up against a good opponent who have played some really good footy against some good sides."

St Kilda have made two unforced changes, including Koby Stevens and Jack Sinclair at the expense of Luke Dunstan and Ben Long.