Hawthorn Senior Coach Sam Mitchell has fronted the media ahead of his side’s clash with Brisbane on Sunday afternoon at Marvel Stadium, as part of Sir Doug Nicholls Round.

Mitchell spoke about the significance of the round, bouncing back from the one-point loss against Yartapuulti and how the team is preparing to tame the Lions.

Hear what the Hawks coach had to say about those topics and more in his press conference below. 

On the loss against Yartapuulti 

“We certainly looked at it pretty closely. There was a lot of learning to be done with how we handle those situations. Even the week before, we went goalless in the last quarter after leading that game, so we got away with that one and didn’t on the weekend. We need to continue to learn how to handle close-game scenarios. Certainly, we looked at that one fairly closely about the things we could’ve done differently to make sure we’re better prepared for the next time we’re in that position.”

On the game against the Lions this week

“I think we prep for every game, for every ground that we play on in a slightly different way, depending on what it looks like. We know the conditions will be slick so the capability of moving the ball in a certain way will be part of our training today. Regardless of the ground, the basics of the game, the pressure on the ball, and the intent on how we go about it in the close contests is the key, especially against a side like Brisbane who are so dominant in every aspect of the game.”

On Nick Watson being managed

“Nick’s had a good year so far, it’s obviously been a bit interrupted with the ankle. We’d already made the sub and his hamstring was getting tighter and we tried to put him deeper but he ended up sprinting even more. Fortunately, there was no damage on the scan but he was overloaded quite heavily and still hasn’t recovered so with a player of his youth and future that we’re excited about, it was not worth taking the risk with him. We’ll give him a week off to make sure he’s rested up and recovered.” 

On the second week of Sir Doug Nicholls Round 

“I think we’re all on the road of education around Indigenous Australians and the First Nations people that we have around in our environment. I mean, Jars (Jarman Impey) is a fantastic leader in his own way but even he says he’s still learning so that actually really makes it a safe environment for us all to try and figure out more things, try to learn more things, try to make sure we’re as inclusive as we possibly can be and continue to make strides in the right direction in that area.” 

Watch Mitchell’s full press conference below.