Hawks have been swooped on: Roughead - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Hawks have been swooped on: Roughead

By Adam Cooper 17/05/2010 02:54:28 PM Comments (0)

Although relieved to be a winner again, Hawthorn forward Jarryd Roughead admits the Hawks' rivals have bridged the gap on them since winning the 2008 premiership.

Whereas Geelong can claim to have maintained or even bettered their high standards since, having won 27 of their 33 games since that shock grand-final loss, the Hawks' victory over Richmond on Sunday was just their 11th from their past 30 games.

Roughead drew positives from a three-point win over the last-placed Tigers, but conceded that, overall, Hawthorn had slipped back to the pack.

"When we won that premiership a lot of those boys were 20, 21, 22, so they're all still improving and evolving and obviously other teams are watching us and trying to bridge the gap on how good we were back then," he said on Monday.

"But every team catches up to you and you've got to set the bar higher and go again.

"I think over the next couple of weeks if everyone keeps performing and keeps going and doing what they're doing we'll see better things."

Hawthorn's win at least broke a six-game losing streak but still left them in 14th spot and with plenty of work to do, as Roughead conceded it was too premature for them to think about reaching the finals.

But he expected Hawthorn to be able to build on Sunday's performance, through the returns of skipper Sam Mitchell and Lance Franklin and the long-awaited club debuts made by recruits Shaun Burgoyne and Wayde Skipper.

"There's going to be some positive signs especially when we've got some quality blokes coming back into the team," he said.

"(Once they) get a few more games under their belts they should be right to go in the next few weeks stepping up to that higher-grade footy and hopefully the rest of the team will be as well."

Roughead said Hawthorn's focus for this Sunday's clash against in-form Carlton was likely to be restricting the Blues' slick ball movement into attack.

In comparison, Hawthorn's forwards endured a lean afternoon against Richmond, as the Hawks went into attack a sparse 38 times.

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