Whether it's down back, or up forward, James Sicily showed on the weekend that he has the ability to do it all.

Despite dislocating his shoulder in a heavy fall halfway through the first quarter of Hawthorn's seven-point upset win against the Western Bulldogs on Sunday, the skipper came up big when it counted.

Sicily remarkably returned to play following the incident, only to suffer another unfortunate blow when he rolled his ankle later in the game.

He was subsequently shifted to the forward line in a surprise move, which paid off after he slotted a crucial goal late in the final term to seal the victory.

It was his first major since Round 7, 2023 — coincidentally against the Bulldogs.

But prior to his match-winning goal, Sicily said he initially feared the worst for his shoulder.

"You go into a little bit of shock - I thought I could've been done for a fair stint," Sicily told RSN on Monday.

"It was bizarre. It was a really uncomfortable feeling, but then the doctor got it back in pretty seamlessly.

"I still had all my strength and not much pain, but it's pulled up okay. 

"I'm pretty banged up this morning, but it's all worth it waking up on a Monday after a really good win."

Alongside his goal, Sicily finished with 20 disposals, nine marks, and five intercept possessions going at an impressive disposal efficiency of 86 per cent.

Coach Sam Mitchell praised his courageous captain, whose determination and fighting spirit led the Hawks to their second win of 2024.

"He's been under a lot of pressure, he is still a young man and new in his leadership journey and obviously gets a fair bit of attention from the opposition," Mitchell said.

"When he popped his shoulder he said 'It went in pretty well, I think I'm okay', then he hurt his ankle in the third.

"It was three-quarter time, we'd already made our substitute and I asked him what he was thinking - he said he can keep playing but might not be able to do a couple of things.

"He said what about forward? I can swap with Blake Hardwick. So I got them together and asked them what they thought and they were like okay let's do that. They drove their own.

"For Blake to go into the back-half and do what he needed to do, and then for James to go forward and do what he needed to do - their level of trust in each other to play each others roles I thought was fantastic. 

"It would of been really easy for James to not to keep playing... he had a sore shoulder, a sore foot.. everyone would've understood if he didn't keep playing. But his level of commitment to work through that and to lead the way for our other boys was first-class."

In a match that had so many ebbs and flows, the Hawks hit the front early in the second term and stayed there until midway through the fourth, when three Bulldogs goals put them back in front.

But majors to Jack Ginnivan and Sicily put the pressure back on the Bulldogs which subsequently lead to a hard-fought victory.

Sicily said he felt proud of his side's response following a disappointing loss to Sydney the week prior.

"You definitely gain so much trust for the guy next to you when you're involved in wins like this," Sicily added. 

"The game didn't start that well for us, we've been recognising that momentum has played a big role in a lot of our losses this year.

"To stifle that and come out at quarter time and not being completely knocked out for the rest of the game is something we've been really trying to stifle.

"Even our attitude in the last three or four minutes - the way we tried to keep the ball in tight. We did it well, really professionally.

"We took time off the clock, we showed a lot of maturity in that space. There was a game last year against Richmond where we weren't mature enough and didn't execute that side of things to completely kill the game.

"We got a lot of growth out of the weekend's game and a lot of trust with each other's role acceptance."