Last Monday’s crowd of 67,020 made 2024 just the fourth season when Hawthorn has had two 60,000 plus attendances in the opening three rounds of the year. Previous instances were in 2012, 2013 and 2018. The Round 1 crowd of 73,805 versus Essendon was the first 70,000-plus crowd at a Hawthorn home and away game since 2018.

Hawthorn has won 14 of its last 17 games against Collingwood.

The Hawks’ sequence of nine consecutive victories against the Magpies from 2012 to 2016 was a club record and Hawthorn has continued to win regularly since then with the only defeats in 2017, 2020 and 2022, being by 18, 32 and four points respectively.

On Sunday, Hawthorn will be attempting to stop Collingwood joining Essendon and Carlton as clubs which have won 100 times against Hawthorn. Currently, Hawthorn has won 70 and Collingwood 99 from 169 meetings, the deficit of 29 being a massive improvement from when it was 56 in 1974 (15-71).

Hawthorn has enjoyed some success against recent reigning Premiers, having beaten Western Bulldogs (2017), West Coast (2019) and Richmond (2020), and played a draw with the Tigers in 2021. Even in 2022, the Hawks managed to get withing 10 points of reigning Premier, Melbourne.

The Hawks one success against Collingwood as reigning Premier was in 1991, with Hawthorn winning a Round 10 encounter by 43 points – 23.13.151 to 16.12.108. Hawthorn kicked that score, despite missing both Jason Dunstall and Dermott Brereton, as 20-year-old Paul Hudson kicked nine goals.

Conversely, in the years when Collingwood has gone onto win the Flag, Hawthorn has beaten the Magpies at least once in each of their last three Premiership seasons, twice in 1990, and once each in 2010 and 2023.

Collingwood will become the fourth non-South Australian club Hawthorn has played at the Adelaide Oval. The Hawks played Essendon, Western Bulldogs and Gold Coast there in the Covid-affected 2020 season, losing the first two of these games, but having a comprehensive 51-point win against the Suns. Overall, the Hawks have won seven and lost eight at the ground.

The only previous meeting of Hawthorn and Collingwood outside Victoria was at the Sydney Showground in 2020, when a Covid-era crowd of just 1,772 saw Hawthorn record its equal lowest score since 1964, matching the 3.9.27 it recorded against the same opponent in 1975.

Geelong’s 100-plus score on Monday saw Hawthorn slip into deficit on the centuries for and against for the first time since 2014. Hawthorn has now scored 704 centuries and conceded 705.

Hawthorn took the lead in the 2014 Finals and stayed ahead for almost nine years, at one point in late 2018 stretching the lead as high as 21, before reaching parity once late last season and again in Round 1. The current deficit of one is still a far cry from the largest deficit which was 194 during the 1968 season.

In the past 50 years, Hawthorn has gone into its fourth game of the season with a 0-3 record on just three previous occasions. These saw one Round 4 win (2005) and two defeats (1998 and 2017). Let’s hope the Hawks square this ledger on Sunday.

Hawthorn’s Round 4 record is 42 wins, 54 defeats, two draws (1939 and 1996) and one bye (1991). Hawthorn took longer to win in Round 4 than in any other round. It was not until 1941 that the club tasted success after 15 losses and one draw.

The Hawks’ best Round 4 sequence was eight consecutive wins from 1974 to 1981. The last of those was perhaps the most memorable of the sequence, as it featured the first clash between great rival coaches, Allan Jeans at Hawthorn and Kevin Sheedy at Essendon. The Hawks won the Windy Hill encounter by 15 points.

10 years ago, in Round 4 2014, Hawthorn thrashed Gold Coast at Carrara by 99 points – 23.10.148 to 7.7.49. Jack Gunston kicked five goals and Jarryd Roughead four, while others in the best included Sam Mitchell, Luke Hodge, Josh Gibson and Kyle Cheney.

40 years ago, in Round 4 1984, Hawthorn made it a 4-0 start to the season with a comprehensive 60-point victory over St Kilda at Princes Park – 23.21.159 to 14.15.99. Peter Curran and Leigh Matthews both booted four goals, while Chris Mew got the three Brownlow votes.

50 years ago, in Round 4 1974, Hawthorn won a home game at its new home of Princes Park for the first time, beating Essendon 9.15.69 to 5.13.43. As with its one previous home game there, a fortnight earlier against Collingwood, it was played in wet conditions. Leigh Matthews and Geoff Ablett were the leading kick-getters with 24 each, while Matthews was also the leading goalkicker with three.

80 years ago, in Round 4 1944, Hawthorn made it back-to-back victories, with a seven-point win against St Kilda at the Junction Oval – 11.7.73 to 9.12.66. Wally Culpitt kicked five goals and Jack Burke three, and other good players included Jack O’Keefe, Jim Bohan and Jack Blackman.

Jason Dunstall holds the Hawthorn record for most goals in a game versus Collingwood, having booted 11 in both the 1989 and 1990 seasons. Next best was Michael Moncrieff’s 10 in 1976.

Moncrieff has the best tally in Round 4, kicking nine goals at Waverley against South Melbourne in 1979.