Different coach, same message.
Different forward line, same result.
If Hawthorn’s AFL premiership defence continues to throw up setbacks, vice-captain Jarryd Roughead has confidence in the club’s adaptability.
A week after Roughead kicked a bag against West Coast, the Hawks took a more egalitarian approach to goal in Friday night’s 28-point win over Carlton.
Roughead finished with three goals, including a blinder in the final term, but was one of 12 goal-kickers.
It was a slick display from a forward line that was minus gun forward Jack Gunston for the first time this season.
Gunston was a late withdrawal due to a corked calf that isn’t expected to stop him playing Collingwood next Saturday, so the Hawks called on Tim O’Brien.
O’Brien, wearing No.23 on his back, may have lacked the spark of Lance Franklin but he was far from embarrassed.
Most importantly for Roughead, he and substitute Ben Ross didn’t impact the fluency of the Hawks’ gameplan.
“It’s well documented we’ve got a couple out, but the boys stepped up. Both (O’Brien and Ross) were very good,” Roughead told AAP.
“It’s not as if we expect them to come in and kick five goals.
“As long as they’re keeping their man accountable and contributing to a win, we’re happy.”
Roughead found it easy to click with third-gamer O’Brien.
“We’re lucky in a sense that we train with everyone – we don’t split the group up to VFL and AFL,” he said.
Roughead was happy to hear coach Alastair Clarkson was in the rooms but suggested little had changed in the absence of the ill two-time premiership coach.
“Bolts (caretaker Brendon Bolton) is doing a wonderful job. It’s been seamless,” he said.
“He’s been here for five years.
“He knows all the boys. It’s a new face, but the message is exactly the same.”
Bolton was thrilled with the spread of goal-kickers.
“That shows we’ve got an unpredictable system for others to try and work out,” he said.
“O’Brien found out late he was playing, but fitted into our system really well.”
The pointy end of the season may be months away, but Roughead noted the next few weeks would shape his side’s premiership defence.
“These are the months that can make or break a side – June, July and August,” he said.
“You need to make sure you’re in the top four.”