The young Hawks might be arriving sooner than expected after they recorded the upset of the AFL season against Collingwood.
The Pies came into the match at the MCG two games clear atop the ladder, taking on a Hawthorn side languishing in 16th place.
Yet the Hawks set the pace all afternoon, kicking four goals to nil in the opening quarter and proving largely untroubled the rest of the way in a 16.9 (105) to 11.7 (73) stunner.
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Premiership favourites Collingwood hit back in the second term to reduce the deficit, but the expected black and white surge never eventuated.
Instead, the Hawks kicked 10 goals after halftime to pull away and record the best win in coach Sam Mitchell’s tenure.
According to the noted AFL stats guru who goes by Swamp or @sirswampthing on Twitter, it is the latest ever in a season a team has beaten another sitting at least 15 places above them on the ladder.
On a dirty day for the Pies, Brownlow Medal favourite Nick Daicos injured his ankle and Nathan Murphy and Taylor Adams also picked up knocks.
Former Saints and North midfielder Nick Dal Santo led the plaudits for this young Hawks side in the dying stages of the match.
“It’s been a great execution of a plan from a Hawthorn perspective,” Dal Santo said on Fox Footy.
“It’s one thing to plot throughout the course of the week to know how the Pies want to play.
“But then to come out here and own the Pies from the word go, it’s been a great, great team performance.”
Garry Lyon echoed his thoughts, calling it “one of the wins of the season”.
Murphy was helped from the field by trainers after suffering an ankle injury in the final term, but the Magpies might have more pressing concerns on the field after they were demolished 17 to three at centre bounces.
The Hawks’ quartet of Jai Newcombe, Will Day, Conor Nash and James Worpel put together the most complete performance of what has been an impressive season, while captain James Sicily was allowed to roam freely, particularly in a 14-disposal first term as he set up the Hawks from behind.
Sicily finished best on the ground with 37 disposals and 19 marks, while young defender Finn Maginness helped keep Nick Daicos to just five touches before he tweaked his ankle.
Hawthorn had winners all over the ground, with veteran Luke Breust and fellow forward Brandon Ryan both finishing with three goals.
Silicy cut a beaming figure after the match.
“We’ve been looking forward to this,” he said. ”A challenge against the best in front of a big crowd.
“We want to get used to this. Look good, feel good, play good, retro jumper is awesome.
“But super proud of the boys, awesome result.”