Blake Hardwick, who celebrates his 150th game this week, has been a model of consistency. After one game in 2016, he played his second game on Easter Monday 2017 and has missed just three games since then, with sequences of consecutive games including 65 (2017-19), and a current unbroken 52 (2022-present). He has twice been runner-up in the Peter Crimmins Medal (2018 and 2021).

It is a tribute to the club’s success that Hardwick will become just the fifth Hawthorn player to reach 150 games without having played in a winning Finals team. He joins three players (Ted Pool, Bert Mills and Alec Albiston) who never played in a Final, and Shane Crawford, whose first winning Final was in his 156th game, the 2000 Elimination Final victory against Geelong. Prior to that, Crawford played in two losing Finals (in 1993 and 1996), the same number as Hardwick has currently, after a playing in a pair of defeats in 2018.

Those looking for an omen for Easter Monday, might find it in the fact that Albiston’s 150th game in Round 17 1948 produced a stunning upset one-point victory over Geelong at Kardinia Park. Crawford’s 150th delivered a 57-point win against Collingwood at Docklands in Round 16 2000, with the milestone man having 28 disposals, kicking two goals, and getting two Brownlow votes.

Hawthorn has a 70 per cent chance of winning against Geelong on Easter Monday, based on the results of the last ten occasions when Hawthorn has begun the season 0-2.

Seven of the past 10 times when the Hawks have begun seasons 0-2, they have won their third game, doing so in 1977, 1979, 1985, 2000, 2002, 2009 and last season. The Hawks have only slipped to 0-3 on three occasions in the past 50 years, in 1998, 2005 and 2017.

For just the sixth occasion in its VFL-AFL history, Hawthorn has taken the field with an unchanged team after a loss in the previous game.

Round 2 2024 was the first such occurrence for 40 years, with the most recent prior to last Saturday, being in Round 14 1984 when, after a defeat by Melbourne in Round 13, the same twenty players were selected in what proved to be a win against St Kilda.

It was also only the fourth time that Hawthorn has fielded the same team in the first two games of a VFL-AFL season. The other three instances (1958, 1992 and 2006) all featured wins in Round 1, but then losses in Round 2.

Luke Breust has now joined Jarryd Roughead on 283 career games, in equal ninth place on the Hawthorn all-time games list.

Hawthorn trails Geelong 76 to 93 in the head-to-head between the clubs, with one draw (in 1963). The clubs have played on every Easter Monday since 2010 (except in 2011 when it was on Easter Tuesday and in 2020 due to Covid), with Hawthorn winning in 2015, 2018 and 2022.

Round 3 has historically been one of Hawthorn’s best rounds, with 52 victories and 47 losses from 99 matches. The Hawks had a remarkable Round 3 record between 1971 and 1992, winning 19 and losing just three. Hawthorn also won six Round 3 games in a row from 2011 to 2016, and more recently won in 2019 and 2020, and last season recorded a 19-point win against North Melbourne at University of Tasmania Stadium.

10 years ago, in Round 3 2014, there was a re-match of the previous season’s Grand Final, with a significantly bigger margin than the previous September. The Hawks were victorious over Fremantle at the MCG by 58 points – 21.11.137 to 11.13.79. The disposal count had a staggering differential of 492 to 311, with six Hawks having over 30 disposals. Sam Mitchell got nine Coaches’ votes and the three Brownlow votes.

40 years ago, in Round 3 1984, Hawthorn won a second consecutive game by six points and extended its winning sequence against Melbourne to 22, defeating the Demons at the MCG, 20.18.138 to 20.12.132. Ken Judge kicked five goals and Peter Curran four.

50 years ago, in Round 3 1974, the Hawks thrashed South Melbourne at the Lakeside Oval by 69 points – 20.15.135 to 8.18.66. Micheal Moncrieff booted 10 goals and John Hendrie kicked six, with Kelvin Matthews another to figure prominently in the best players. Lou Milner made his one appearance in the Seniors in this game.

60 years ago, in Round 3 1964, Hawthorn made it three wins in a row to start the season for the first time since joining the VFL in 1925. A Glenferrie Oval crowd of 22,000 saw the Hawks defeat St Kilda by 22 points – 12.15.87 to 9.11.65, with John Peck kicking five goals and Phil Hay best-on-ground.

70 years ago, in Round 3 1954, the most anticipated debut in Hawthorn history took place when boom South Australian recruit, Clayton ‘Candles’ Thompson took the field at Glenferrie. Hawthorn beat the eventual Grand Finalists 11 points – 11.9.75 to 9.10.64, with John O’Mahony the best player. The excitement generated by the arrival of the All-Australian ruckman Thompson was a key factor in enticing Graham Arthur to choose Hawthorn when he moved from Bendigo to the VFL the following season.

80 years ago, in Round 3 1944, Hawthorn thrashed Geelong by 53 points – 22.12.144 to 13.13.91. Wally Culpitt kicked 10 goals, the second player to do so for the club in the VFL. Jack Blackman and Jack Burke were others to figure prominently in the best players.

The individual goal-kicking record for a Hawthorn player versus Geelong is 12 by Jason Dunstall in 1990 and 1992.

The individual goalkicking record for Hawthorn in Round 3 is 11 kicked by Leigh Matthews versus Essendon at Waverley in 1973. Michael Moncrieff had a particular liking for Round 3, kicking 10 in both 1974 versus South Melbourne and 1976 versus Collingwood.

Both Matthews and Moncrieff sustained their fondness for Round 3 well into the 1980s, as both booted six goals in Hawthorn’s 129-point demolition of St Kilda at Moorabbin in Round 3 1983. Moncrieff’s goals included the 600th of his career, the third Hawk to reach the mark following Peter Hudson and Matthews.